Nav: Home

Keeping heavy metals out of beer and wine

February 20, 2019

A frosty mug of beer or ruby-red glass of wine just wouldn't be the same if the liquid was murky or gritty. That's why producers of alcoholic beverages usually filter them. But in a study appearing in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report that a material often used as a filter could be transferring heavy metals such as arsenic to beer and wine. They also found ways to possibly limit this contamination.

Chronic dietary exposure to high levels of arsenic, lead and cadmium can endanger health. Therefore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set limits on these heavy metals in foods and beverages. Although some studies have reported elevated levels of the contaminants in wine and beer, researchers aren't sure how the metals are ending up in these beverages. Benjamin Redan, Lauren Jackson and colleagues wondered if the diatomaceous earth (DE) used to filter beer and wine could be introducing heavy metals, and if so, whether altering the filtering conditions could reduce the transfer.

To find out, the team tested three types of food-grade DE and found that all of them contained arsenic, as well as smaller amounts of lead and cadmium. When used to filter beer or wine in the lab, one of the DE samples increased arsenic 3.7- to 7.9-fold compared with the unfiltered beverages, rising above the safe limit proposed by the FDA for apple juice (10 parts per billion; ppb). The amount of arsenic transferred to the drinks decreased when the beverage was exposed to less DE, the pH of the liquid was altered or the DE was washed beforehand. The researchers also measured levels of the heavy metals in commercial beer and wine samples. Although they detected arsenic in the beverages, levels were below 10 ppb, with the exception of two wine samples that contained 18 and 11 ppb arsenic.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The paper's abstract will be available on February 20 at 8 a.m. Eastern time here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b06062

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Arsenic Articles:

Poultry feed with arsenic more problematic than assumed?
Supplements containing arsenic have been banned in the European Union since 1999 and in North America since 2013.
Sponge bacterium found to encapsulate arsenic drawn from environment
A new Tel Aviv University study sheds light on a unique biological model of arsenic detoxification.
Urban pumping raises arsenic risk in Southeast Asia
Large-scale groundwater pumping is opening doors for dangerously high levels of arsenic to enter some of Southeast Asia's aquifers, with water now seeping in through riverbeds with arsenic concentrations more than 100 times the limits of safety, according to a new study from scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, MIT, and Hanoi University of Science.
Measuring arsenic in Bangladesh's rice crops
University of Massachusetts Amherst analytical chemist Julian Tyson and his student Ishtiaq 'Rafi' Rafiyu are partnering with Chemists Without Borders (CWB) to develop a low-cost, easy-to-use test kit to measure arsenic in Bangladesh's rice supply, offering consumers information on exposure.
Arsenic accumulates in the nuclei of plants' cells
Toxic arsenic initially accumulates in the nuclei of plants' cells.
More Arsenic News and Arsenic Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...