A pilot study to measure levels of selected elements in Thai foods by instrumental neutron activation analysis
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A pilot study was carried out to evaluate the scope of instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) for measuring the levels of selected elements in a few commonly consumed food items in Thailand. Several varieties of rice, beans, aquatic food items, vegetables and soybean products were bought from major distribution centers in Bangkok, Thailand. Samples were prepared according to the protocols prescribed by the nutritionist for food compositional analysis. Levels of As, Br, Ca, Cd, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, and Zn were measured by INAA using the irradiation and counting facilities available at the Thai Research Reactor with the maximum in-core thermal neutron flux of 3 × 1013 cm−2 s−1 of the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology in Bangkok. Selenium was determined by cyclic INAA using the Dalhousie University SLOWPOKE-2 Reactor facilities in Halifax, Canada at a thermal neutron flux of 2.5 × 1011 cm−2 s−1. Both cooked and uncooked foods were analyzed. The elemental composition of food products was found to depend significantly on the raw material as well as the preparation technique.
KeywordsINAA Cyclic INAA Thai food Nutrition Toxic elements
The authors wish to thank the (i) International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA), Vienna, Austria, for their partial financial support through a Technical Cooperation Project; (ii) TRR1/M1 reactor facility and personnel at the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology, Bangkok, Thailand; and (iii) DUSR facility and personnel at the Dalhousie University SLOWPOKE-2 reactor, Halifax, Canada.
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