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Posted on August 09 2020

Arsenic in Rice Basmati

Basmati rice by Hunza Foods is processed to get it free of Arsenic.

This sentence will not make sense until you know what Arsenic is and what are the disadvantages of eating food with high proportion of Arsenic in it? What are the various diseases that are caused due to long term exposure with this metal? In which part of the world is it present in high proportions? So let’s read about Arsenic.


What is Arsenic and what are its sources?

Earth crust has got Arsenic as a natural component. It is distributed in the air, water and land. It is very dangerous and toxic in its inorganic form. It is present in the list of 10 chemicals of World Health Organization that are dangerous for human health. Millions of people are exposed to Arsenic concentration that are much higher than the given safe estimate.
People get exposed to Arsenic in its inorganic form through contaminated water (by using contaminated water for food preparation and irrigation of crops, as a result of industrial processes, consuming contaminated food and by use of tobacco).
Exposure for a long time to inorganic arsenic can cause Arsenic poisoning, further leading to skin lesions and skin cancer.


Arsenic intake through contaminated water and food:

Polluted water is the greatest source of Arsenic and greatest threat to human health as well. Groundwater of many countries like Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, India, Mexico and the US of America, contain inorganic arsenic at high levels. Use of this ground water for irrigating crops, for drinking and for preparing food can lead to Arsenic intake directly through eating.
Other sources of Arsenic include fish, shell fish, meat, poultry, dairy products and cereals, but exposure through them is less dangerous in comparison to exposure through contaminated water. Seafood has less toxic organic form of Arsenic.
Arsenic intake due to industrial processes:
Arsenic is used in industries as in processing of glass, paper, textiles etc. It is also used, to a certain extent, in pesticides, pharmaceuticals and feed additives.
Arsenic intake through tobacco:
Users of tobacco also intake Arsenic because tobacco plant has a natural higher tendency of absorbing Arsenic from the soil.


What can be the effects of Arsenic on human health?

Inorganic Arsenic has the potential to cause cancer for sure and is a chemical contaminant present in drinking water through out the world. Arsenic has also got its organic form. Inorganic Arsenic (found in water) is more dangerous to health while organic Arsenic (found in seafood) is less dangerous.
Grave Effects:
Vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea are the symptoms of severe arsenic poisoning. These symptoms are followed by numbness, cramping of muscles and in extreme cases, death.


Long lasting Effects:

The initial symptoms of long span exposure to increased levels of inorganic Arsenic (through drinking water or food) usually effect the skin primarily. It causes pigmentation, skin lesions, hyperkeratosis (patches on the palms and soles of the feet). These symptoms occur after little exposure to inorganic Arsenic for almost five years and this may lead to skin cancer.
Bladder and lung cancer are another effect of long term exposure to inorganic Arsenic. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized Arsenic and Arsenic compounds as cancerous for humans. It has also stated that Arsenic intake through polluted water is cancerous for humans.
Diabetes, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases can also be caused due to inorganic arsenic. In Taiwan, one of the provinces of China, ‘Blackfoot disease’ has been linked to Arsenic exposure. It is a disease of blood vessels that can give rise to gangrene.
Arsenic can also have an adverse effect on pregnancy causing infant mortality. It negatively impacts child health. A lot of studies have come to the conclusion that Arsenic has negative impacts on cognitive development, intelligence and memory.


Arsenic in Basmati Rice from Pakistan

According to a survey by Zavala and Duxbury (2009), rice from US, Italy and Spain contain high levels of Arsenic. Whereas rice from Pakistan contains significantly less Arsenic from the three high countries.
A survey was carried out of Total Arsenic rice in Pakistan by Pakistan Organic Farms (POF). Different rice samples were collected form different areas in Pakistan and their Arsenic level was tested. They were also checked by an international inspection company, Eurofins Global Control. It came out to be 0.2 mg/kg that is very much acceptable according to European Union Regulation. Whereas rice from US has 0.714mg/kg amount of Arsenic.

“Pakistan has considerably lesser amount of Arsenic in rice (0.2 mg/kg)”

Basmati rice By Hunza foods, one of the finest rice from Pakistan
One of the world’s finest aromatic long grained basmati rice is produced in Pakistan. Basmati rice, called as the ‘king of rice’ has the highest regard throughout the world. In comparison to all other varieties of rice, basmati rice has got the characteristics of long grains and mouthwatering aroma. It is considered very special due to these characteristics. This also justifies the reason behind high demand of this rice throughout the world. It is grown in the beautiful fertile soil of Pakistan. It is harvested by out hardworking farmers and then processed to give the best of results. After going through all processes, we get long, pearly white grain with tempting aroma and taste that makes you forget all the other varieties of rice.
It is said that name has an effect on personality. This rice, despite being a non living thing, proves it right. Basmati word has originated from ‘bash’, word from one of the provincial languages of Pakistan and it means ‘odor’. According to a few folk tales, this rice was selected for kings, queens and royal families.


Let’s talk a bit about the types and forms of rice.

Super Kernel:

It is a long grain rice with slender kernel, 4-5 times longer than its width. The grains of rice are separate, light in weight and soft when cooked. It is mostly used in famous cultural foods of Pakistan like Biryani, chicken rice, beef rice, sweet rice etc.


Basmati Rice 385:

It is comparatively dry and separate when used fro cooking. It has long thin grains and they increase only in length when while cooking.

Brown Rice:

This is the minimum processed form of rice. Only the hull of its kernel are removed. Its light brown appearance is due to presence of bran layers. These layers are rich in minerals and vitamins, especially B-complex category. With enticing aroma and flavor like that of roasted nuts or popcorn, it is more nutritious and takes more time to cook. Brown rice can be eaten and is also passed through different processes to convert it into white rice.
Parboiled Rice:
It is a rough type of rice. It goes through a steam pressure process before milling. At first it is soaked, then steamed, after that dried and then milled to get rid of the outer hull. These steps gelatinize the starch in the rice grain. These steps are taken to harden the grain at the mill, leading to less breakage, warranting a firmer and more separate grain. Parboiled rice is favorite of chefs and consumers who want more fluffy and separate prepared rice.

Pakistani rice is exported throughout the world due to its high quality, tempting aroma and delicious flavor.

Hunza Foods Premium Basmati Aromatic Rice is the delicious rice from Pakistan. It is the best quality of rice imported form Pakistan to Australia in beautiful and careful packing. It has minimum amount of Arsenic. It is gluten free, GMO (genetically modified organism) free and has low GI (glycemic index). It is available in Australian markets in bags of 1kg, 2kg and 5kg.
Phone number: 1800 978 684
Facebook id: Hunza Foods Australia


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