A sweetener used in many organic foods may be a hidden source of arsenic, new research suggests. Researchers at Dartmouth College also note that the sweetener, organic brown rice syrup, is found in some infant formulas. Their report appears in the Feb. 16 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Arsenic is a natural element that can contaminate groundwater. As the Dartmouth team explained, rice may be particularly prone to contamination because it pulls in arsenic from soil. There are no federal limits currently set for arsenic levels in food.
Study author Dr. Brian Jackson, director of the Trace Element Analysis Core Facility at Dartmouth, set out to determine the concentrations of arsenic in commercial food products containing organic brown rice syrup, including infant formula, cereal/energy bars and high-energy foods used by athletes. Jackson and his colleagues bought commercial food products containing organic brown rice syrup and compared them with similar products that did not have rice syrup in them.
HealthDay (healthday.com) – by Denise Mann – (Thursday, February 16, 2012) –