DETECTION OF LOW LEVEL ACTINIDES (Th, U) AND BISMUTH IN BREAKFAST CEREALS: A BASELINE STUDY Page No: 4773-4779

By: A.E Pillay and S. Stephen

Keywords: ICP-MS, uranium, thorium, bismuth, cereals

Abstract: Benchmarking the composition of bismuth (Bi), thorium (Th) and uranium (U) in breakfast cereals has not been previously documented and could be considered a baseline study in this domain of research. Detection of naturally occurring actinides is generally below the lower limit of detection in most contemporary methods of analysis. However, hyphenated plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has the capability of achieving a limit of detection in the ng/L (ppt) range and is, therefore, favorable for investigating levels of noxious metals at ultra-low levels in foodstuffs. Bismuth, thorium and uranium rarely occur at appreciable levels in most foodstuffs and their detection would be a useful contribution to knowledge related to nutrients. For the metals of interest we detected the following range of concentrations in breakfast cereals: Bi: 3-14 ?g/L; Th: 6-100 ?g/L and U: 1-15 ?g/L. The elemental profiles of these metals are discussed and the feasibility of employing the data for fingerprinting studies is reported. There are no wellknown toxicological guidelines for these elements and their health effects form part of ongoing studies in clinical research. Our study could make a significant contribution to sustainability and current nutritional research.



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