The present study was designed to characterize the Pakistani rice varieties (Basmati and coarse), alongwith their milling fractions intended for export in Europe and other regions for heavy metals and aflatoxins content. The content of heavy metals, that is, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury varied significantlyamong the rice varieties. The highest content of cadmium (0.63 mg kg-1) and lead (0.27 mg kg-1) was foundin the rice variety IRRI-6, whereas the highest mercury level was found in KS-282 (0.075 mg kg-1). Thecontent of lead in IRRI-B, IRRI-W and brown rice of Basmati 2000 was higher than that allowed by European Union (EU) legislation, whereas the contents in milling fractions SB-B, SB-W KS-B, KS-W and B2-B were within the EU prescribed limits. The highest arsenic content was found in the rice variety IRRI-6while Basmati 2000 had the lowest contents. The content of aflatoxins, that is, B1, B2, G1 and G2 variedsignificantly among rice varieties and between rice milling fractions, but the total aflatoxin content in allvarieties was within the prescribed limits.
Key words: Export quality rice with milling fractions, heavy metals, aflatoxins, high power liquid chromatography.
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