Analytical Methodologies for the Determination of Organoarsenicals in Edible Marine Species: A Review
Caleb Luvonga, Catherine A. Rimmer, Lee L. Yu, Sang B. Lee
Setting of regulatory limits for arsenic in food is complicated owing to the enormous diversity of arsenic metabolism in different people, lack of knowledge about the toxicity of arsenic metabolites, and lack of accurate arsenic speciation data on foodstuffs, which is the basis for determining the potentially toxic arsenic fraction. It is important to identify and quantify the toxic fraction in order to determine the risk associated with exposure to arsenic through dietary intake. Risk assessment of arsenic has previously been based on total arsenic rather than the active species, which underpins the need for speciation analysis. Arsenic speciation data is an important contributor to risk assessment and in setting of regulatory limits. However, arsenic speciation in seafood is challenging owing to its existence in myriads of chemical forms and oxidation states, with interconversions occurring between them, high matrix complexity, lack of standards, certified reference materials and widely accepted analytical protocols. This review explores the current analytical techniques and emerging toxicological knowledge of various arsenic species. The need for high quality arsenic speciation data to be used as a basis for pushing legislation forward and establishing regulatory limits for arsenic in food will be explored.