Lead and Cadmium in Rice Deuterium

Application Note

Fast Digestion Analysis of Lead and Cadmium in Rice Using GFAAS with Deuterium Background Correction

Lead and Cadmium in Rice Deuterium


Toxic elements, such as lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), are entering the food chain through environmental contamination. Rice, as the most widely consumed cereal grain in Asia, can quickly pick up Pb and Cd from soil, thereby seriously endangering human health through diet. These toxic element levels need to be carefully monitored. Maximum levels of Pb and Cd are strictly regulated in Asian countries, especially in China; therefore, it is extremely important to develop a simple, reliable method for trace levels of Pb and Cd in rice. The allowable maximum levels of Pb and Cd in grains in EU and China are required to be below 0.2 mg/kg (Commission Regulation EC 1881/2006 and Chinese GB 2715-2016 Hygienic Standard). Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) is the officially recommended technique for detection of trace elements in various food stuffs (GB/T 5009.15-2017, GB/T 5009. 12-2017 and EN 14083:2003). Food samples are usually pretreated before GFAAS analysis using various methods: microwave digestion, hot block digestion, dry ashing, and hot plate digestion. These conventional digestion procedures are usually complicated and time-consuming (2-4 hours or longer). Plus, they require large quantities of corrosive and oxidizing reagents, increasing the chance for contamination which could lead to inaccurate results. However, fast digestion can effectively speed up the sample preparation procedure while reducing the use of corrosive reagents and the chance for contamination.