Expert warns that the common method of cooking rice leads to arsenic poisoning - chaprama | Insights from the world of Technology and Lifestyle


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Expert warns that the common method of cooking rice leads to arsenic poisoning

In most parts of the world, rice forms a major part of our diet. You will definitely change the method of your cooking rice after reading this article. Professor Andy Meharg, a leading expert on rice contamination from Queens University Belfast has warned that if rice is not cooked with enough water then we are at risk of various heart diseases and cancer. Rice contains 10 times more inorganic arsenic than other foods and European Food standards authority(FSA) has reported that people who consume more rice get exposed to dangerous concentrations.

Expert warns that the common method of cooking rice leads to arsenic poisoning

How Arsenic gets into Rice?

Arsenic gets incorporated into rice as a result of industrial contaminants and increased use of pesticides. Arsenic remains in flooded paddy fields where the rice is grown for decades.

Research Study

Professor Andy Meharg cooked the rice in three different ways to evaluate the levels of arsenic. 
- Initially, he cooked rice in 1: 2 ratio wherein to one cup of rice, two cups of water is added. So as a result water gets absorbed or evaporated after cooking.
- In the second method, he increased the ratio of water level five times wherein to one cup of rice, he added five cups of water. Here he observed that arsenic levels are halved.
- In the third method, he soaked the rice in water for overnight and after cooking observed that the toxic levels of arsenic are almost negligible.

Chronic exposure to arsenic leads to a variety of health problems that include heart diseases, diabetes, and damage to the nervous system. Toxic levels of Arsenic also associated with lung and bladder cancers. Experts recommend allowing steaming hot water to dip water through rice as the contaminants get washed away. In earlier experiments, there was an of 57% reduction of arsenic when rice was cooked in 12:1 ratio (water: rice).

Earlier Food standards agency (FSA)  has warned people not to eat overcooked or toasted potatoes that cause cancer due to acrylamide. The chemical compound Acrylamide is released during browning process of potatoes. Recent evidence suggests children are consuming more acrylamide than suggested levels.


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