Article Title

Heavy metal content of rice and shellfish in Taiwan


This investigation surveyed heavy metal content of Taiwanese rice and shellfish. A total of 407 rice samples and 83 shellfish samples were collected from various areas of Taiwan. The content of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Ph and Zn in the rice samples was 0.08, 0.01, 0.10, 2.22, 0.001, 0.29, 0.01 and 14.7 mg/kg, respectively. Notably, the Cd and Hg content in the rice samples was found to be below the food sanitary standards of Cd (0.5 mg/kg) and Hg (0.05 mg/kg) in Taiwanese rice. On the other hand, the As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn content in shellfish was 1.55, 0.15, 0.18, 13.1, 0.004, 0.37, 0.17 and 50.3 mg/kg, respectively. Notably, oysters had higher content of Cu and Zn than mussels. The average content of heavy metals in Taiwanese shellfish was always below the limits or standards of the UK, Denmark and Germany. To assess the safety of dietary intake, weekly intake of heavy metals by rice and shellfish was calculated based on the intake of a typical Taiwanese. The results indicated that weekly intake of heavy metals from rice and shellfish was below the provisional tolerable weekly intakes recommended by WHO/FAO and USNAS.

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