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Cook Rice The Right Way To Avoid Arsenic Poisoning

Update Date: Feb 09, 2017 07:44 AM EST

Health officials, after warning people about eating burned potatoes, chips and toast that could be linked to cancer, has released a new advisory about rice. There is a high risk of aresenic poisoning if insufficient water is used while cooking rice. 

Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment but is also a chemical that has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and developmental problems.  Rice has the tendency to absorb arsenic more than other cereal crops. Rice may take it up from pesticides in soil and industrial toxins.

Scientists found that cooking the grains in excess water helps to flush out arsenic. This helps in preventing any possible chemical poisoning.

Researchers said their experiments suggest the amount of arsenic in rice can be slashed by using different cooking methods. Rice should be steeped in water overnight to flush out the poison. Then it can be rinsed and cooked the next day.

The Sun reported, Professor Andy Meharg, an expert on rice contamination from Queens University Belfasted tested rice cooking in three different ways. The first method was a ratio of two parts water to one part rice. The second, five parts water to one part rice with the excess water being drained and the rice rinsed, the arsenic level almost cut in half. The third method had the rice soaked all night, the arsenic levels were cut by 80 percent.

According to Daily Mail, rice has ten times more inorganic arsenic than other foods. The European Food Standards Authority reported that people who eat plenty of rice are exposed to worrying concentrations of arsenic.

Professor Meharg has suggested that cooking rice in a coffee percolator would stop arsenic from binding to rice. Contaminants can be washed away by allowing steaming hot water to drip through the rice. In his previous experiments, 12 parts water to one of rice had a 57 percent reduction.

The experiments were conducted for the TV show Trust Me, I'm a Doctor, which aired Wednesday on BBC2.

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