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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Hazard Assessment and Level of Concern - Apple Juice

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
College Park, MD 20740

 

Memorandum

 

Date:December 15, 2008
From:Chemical Hazard Assessment Team, Office of Food Safety (HFS-301)
Subject:Arsenic in Apple Juice
To:Henry Kim, Ph.D.
Office of Food Safety (HFS-300)

As requested, consumption of apple juice by the U.S. population has been estimated. This estimate is compared to the previous estimates of juice consumption used to assess the potential hazard from arsenic found in pear juice products (memorandum of April 8, 2008 to Henry Kim from P.M. Bolger, K. Egan, and S.-H. Tao)

Estimates of apple juice consumption were derived from results of the two most recent national food consumption surveys: the 1994-98 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) and the 2003-04 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Although the NHANES is more recent, consumption estimates from the CSFII were also considered because of the larger sample size.  Both surveys included two days of consumption records for most survey participants. 

Consumption estimates were based on average consumption over two days for individuals who consumed apple juice (eaters only) and were calculated for two population groups: Males and females (MF) from birth to 2 years of age and MF 2 years of age and older. The estimates included foods codes for products that were 100% apple juice, including infant apple juice; juice blends that included apple juice as an ingredient were not included. The consumption estimates are summarized in Table 1.

In the previous assessment, it was noted that, although the issue at hand was dietary exposure to arsenic from pear juice/concentrate, information on pear juice consumption was limited in both the CSFII and the NHANES. As an alternate approach, consumption estimates that took into account consumption of all fruit juices were used as a surrogate for consumption of pear juice. These estimates, which also represent 2-day average consumption by eaters only, are summarized in Table 2.

Results of both sets of consumption estimates are comparable. Relying on results of the more recent 2003-04 NHANES, consumption of apple juice by MF birth to 2 years was estimated to be 16.7 and 36.2 g/kg body weight/day at the mean and 90th percentile, respectively, compared with previous estimates of consumption for all juices of 19.1 and 43.4 g/kg body weight/day. For MF 2+ years, consumption of apple juice was 6.0 and 12.9 g/kg body weight/day at the mean and 90th percentile, respectively, compared with the previous estimates for all juices of 6.0 and 13.0 g/kg body weight/day.

Since consumption estimates from both surveys are similar, the level of concern (LOC) that was calculated for the previous assessment (23 ug/L, or ppb) can be applied in the case of apple juice.

In conclusion, the chronic consumption of apple juice products containing over 23 µg/L (ppb) inorganic arsenic would represent a potential health risk.

/ S /
P. Michael Bolger, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.

/ S /
PKatie Egan, B.S.

/ S /
Shirley S.-H. Tao, Ph.D.

Table 1. Apple Juice Consumption in the US

Survey/
population
# of eaters (unweighted)# eaters2-day average consumption – eaters only
(g/kg bodyweight/day)
   Mean90th %ile
1994-98 CSFII:    
M/F birth to 2 yrs

701

30%

15.3

30.4

M/F 2+ yrs22507%6.113.6
     
2003-04 NHANES:    
M/F birth to 2 yrs25635%16.736.2
M/F 2+ yrs9778%6.012.9

Table 2. Fruit Juice Consumption in the US

Survey/
population

 

# of eaters (unweighted)

 

# eaters

2-day average consumption – eaters only
(g/kg bodyweight/day)

 

 

 

Mean

90th %ile

1994-98 CSFII:

 

 

 

 

M/F birth to 2 yrs

1,057

47%

17.6

34.5

M/F 2+ yrs

3,935

13%

5.8

13.1

 

 

 

 

 

2003-04 NHANES:

 

 

 

 

M/F birth to 2 yrs

380

56%

19.1

43.4

M/F 2+ yrs

1,669

15%

6.0

13.0