Arsenic in soil, leaves, grapes and wines

The presence of arsenic in food and beverages creates concern because of the toxicity of this element, classified as carcinogenic in humans. The arsenic concentration in soil, vine leaves and berries (cv. Chardonnay) and white wines was studied, considering vineyards near to an old mining area (naturally rich in As), in comparison with others from uncontaminated areas in Trentino (Italy).
All analyses were performed using an inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometer.
In soil, the acqua regia extracted As ranged from 3.7 to 283 mg/kg, whereas bioavailable As varied from 18 to 639 mg/kg. As in washed and acid mineralised leaves and berries was between 16.3-579 mg/kg dw and between <0.1-36.8 mg/kg dw, respectively. As content in wines was always <1.4 mg/L. Pearson’s test showed significant and positive correlations between the As concentrations in soils, leaves and berries. The samples collected near the mining area showed significantly higher As concentrations.

Authors: Tomás ROMÁN VILLEGAS, Daniela BERTOLDI, Roberto LARCHER, Alessandro SANTATO, Maurizio BOTTURA, Giorgio NICOLINI

FEM-IASMA Fondazione Edmund Mach – Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige, via E. Mach, 1, 38010 San Michele all’Adige, Italy


Keywords: arsenic, plant uptake, soil, wine, human health risk

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