Arsenic speciation in seafood

  • Haldorsen, Anne-Katrine (Project Participant)
  • Jorhem, Lars (Project Participant)
  • de Jong, Jacob (Project Participant)
  • Sloth, Jens Jørgen (Project Manager)
  • Larsen, Erik Huusfeldt (Project Participant)

Project Details


Arsenic is introduced into the environment via both anthropogenic and natural sources. Biotransformation processes in nature are responsible for the existence of a large number of naturally occurring arsenic compounds. Especially samples of marine origin may contain high concentrations of arsenic (up to several hundred mg/kg).

A large variation in toxicity among the various arsenic species is found. Inorganic arsenic is the most toxic form, whereas organic bound arsenic is considered less toxic and some compounds even innocuous. Dietary exposure to arsenic comes mainly from seafood. In order to carry out a correct assessment of possible health risks associated with the ingestion of arsenic in food, the dramatic variation in toxicity must be taken into account. Consequently speciation analysis is needed.

Methodologies for arsenic speciation analysis is based on various forms of liquid chromatography coupled to ICPMS as an arsenic-specific detector (HPLC-ICPMS) and the use of solid phase extraction for selective extraction of inorganic arsenic followed by determination by atomic absorption spectrometry (SPE-AAS). Electrospray Ionisation Mass spectrometry is used for the structural identification of arsenic compounds and for the structural elucidation of novel arsenic species.
Effective start/end date01/01/200131/12/2011


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