Arsenic speciation in seafood
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). Electrospray Ionisation Mass spectrometry has been used for the structural identification of arsenic compounds and for the structural elucidation of novel arsenic species. Currently methods for the determination of a novel class of arsenic compounds, namely arsenic containing lipids (arsenolipids) are being developed.