Arsenic and Selenium- Contamination in Food Chains, Hazards,Determination
Aman Paul¹, Dorcus Masih°, Sachin Verma², Sajan Palanchoke¹, Priyanka Malik³, Dr JustinMasih¹ M.Tech (Food Technology) Scholars, Department of Food Process Engineering, SHIATS(Allahabad)² M.Sc (Dairy Technology) Scholar, Department of Dairy Technology, SHIATS (Allahabad)³ R & D Executive, Field Fresh Foods Limited (Gurgaon)° Assistant Professor, Department of Food Process Engineering, SHIATS (Allahabad)Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, ECC (Allahabad)
Arsenic and Selenium- Availability and Contamination in Food Chains
Arsenic is a naturally occurring dissolved element in ground and surface water throughout theworld. Arsenic and its compound often have garlic like odour, when crushed or whenscratched with hard object. Arsenic compounds can be very toxic and their uses are strictlycontrolled by health and environmental regulations (1). Erosion of arsenic containing surfacerocks probably account for a significant amount of arsenic in water supplies. The other major sources of environmental arsenic are the smelting of non-ferrous metal ores, especiallycopper. Arsenic is an essential nutrient and is a constituent of many foods such as meat, fish, poultry, grains and cereals (2). The concentration of arsenic in plants can vary depending onfactors like the species of plant, the type of arsenic in soil, and the location of a given species.Arsenic can exist in a variety of oxidation states in inorganic and organic forms in manyenvironmental matrices such as natural water and soils (3).Selenium is widely present in nature in relatively small concentrations in rocks, plants, coaland other fossil fuels (4). Selenium is also present in the soil in certain areas of the USA (thedry plains of Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas) and is taken up by vegetation which then becomes poisonous to animals; their meat is rendered unfit for human consumption.Selenium is however, an essential trace element in some animal diets (5). It has bothtoxicological and physiological effects (6,7). The toxicity, availability and environmentalmobility of selenium are very much dependent on its chemical forms (8). Selenium can occur in different oxidation states in organic and inorganic forms. In many environment matrices,example natural water, soil, etc. the predominant oxidation states of selenium are Se (IV) andSe (VI) (9). Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health but required only insmall amounts (10,11). Selenium is incorporated into proteins to make selenoprotiens, whichare important antioxidant enzymes. The antioxidant properties of selenoprotiens help to prevent cellular damages from free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of oxygenmetabolism that may contribute to development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heartdiseases (12,13). Other selenoprotiens help to regulate thyroid function and play a role in theimmune system (14-16).