Atomic fluorescence spectrophotometry was used to determine the selenium (Se) concentration in 30 rice products of different species from Southern China. The Se level ranged from 0.015 to 0.046 µg g−1. Considering the average daily individual consumption of rice products in Southern China, the average dietary intake of Se supplied by this source is only 6–18 µg day−1 for an adult. This low Se intake from rice products is mainly responsible for the low total Se intake of inhabitants in Southern China. Foliar spraying of Se-enriched fertiliser or sodium selenite with 14–18 g Se ha−1 in the heading stage of rice growth increased the Se content to 0.178–0.421 µg g−1 in rice products. The concentration and amount of Se-enriched fertiliser can be varied to achieve an optimum concentration of Se in rice products. The authors suggest that these Se-enriched rice products can contribute an increase in Se intake of 50–100 µg day−1 on average if their Se concentration is controlled in the region of 0.15–0.50 µg g−1.
© 2002 Society of Chemical Industry