In 2012 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) conducted a small analytical survey examining total arsenic and inorganic arsenic levels in apple and pear juice.
In total, 96 apple juice samples and four pear juice samples were analysed.
The survey found a quantifiable amount of arsenic in 34 apples juice samples and inorganic arsenic in 20 samples. None were at a level that, based on present knowledge, would cause a safety concern over a lifetime of consumption. The range of concentrations reported for inorganic arsenic were similar to concentrations observed in other countries for apple juice.
There were no detections of arsenic in the pear juice samples.
Why is arsenic in food?
Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance and is found in water, air, food and soil. It can also be present as a result of contamination. Because arsenic occurs naturally it is not uncommon to find it in a range of foods. Read more about arsenic including what limits are in the Code.
What is FSANZ doing to monitor arsenic levels?
FSANZ regularly monitors levels of contaminants in foods through the Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS) and targeted surveys. The most recent (23rd) ATDS included testing of total and inorganic arsenic in a range of foods, but did not include fruit juice.
FSANZ will continue to monitor arsenic levels in food through the ATDS. The next ATDS (the 25th study) will investigate arsenic levels, including inorganic arsenic, in a range of foods commonly consumed in the typical Australian diet. The data on inorganic and total arsenic levels will help FSANZ prepare more up-to-date dietary exposure estimates for total and inorganic arsenic in the future.
Survey of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic in apple and pear juice pdf (412kb) | word (103kb)
Arsenic in food