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Determination of Total Arsenic and Hydrophilic Arsenic species in Seafood



Caleb Luvonga, Catherine A. Rimmer, Lee L. Yu, Sang Bok Lee


Marine organisms are vital sources of staple and functional food but are also the major dietary route of human exposure to total arsenic. We report the total arsenic content and the mass fractions of hydrophilic arsenic species from five different marine food types cutting across the food chain from microalgae, macroalgae, bivalve clam, crustaceans and finfish. Total arsenic was determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) while arsenic speciation analysis was performed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled to ICP-MS as the detector. Total arsenic content ranged from 132.5 ng/g ± 10.9 ng/g to 26,626 ng/g ± 515 ng/g. The difference in the total arsenic content of wild-caught and aquacultured shrimp and salmon as a tool to ascertain their provenance is presented. The mass fractions of arsenic acid (AsV), arsenobetaine (AsB), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), and the four commonly occurring arsenosugars (AsSugars) i.e. AsSugar-OH, AsSugar-PO4, AsSugar-SO3 and AsSugar-SO4 are reported. Hydrophilic arsenic species accounted for more than 50% of the total arsenic content in most of the study materials ranging from 54% in wild-caught salmon to 96% in wild-caught shrimp except for aquacultured shrimp where the polar arsenicals accounted for only about 10% of the total arsenic
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry


arsenic, speciation, seafood, seaweed, wild-caught, aquacultured, regulations


Luvonga, C. , Rimmer, C. , Yu, L. and Lee, S. (2021), Determination of Total Arsenic and Hydrophilic Arsenic species in Seafood, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created February 28, 2021, Updated December 7, 2020