It has been found that the generally used filter for straining beer and wine of sediments can make the liquid clear but not remove heavy metals such as arsenic from it. The diatomaceous earth is a naturally formed soft rock that is used to filter the alcoholic drinks. However, recently, the lab tests proved the filters to be inefficient when it came to separating out arsenic and thus, the alcoholic drinks showed 8 times higher level of the heavy metal in comparison to the unfiltered counterparts. According to the FDA, the inorganic arsenic levels in apple juice was found to be above the safe level that is around 10*g/L – 10 parts per billion.
The exposure to the higher levels of heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and arsenic is risky in terms of health. Nowadays, heavy metals are now being found in various foods. The chemical state of the metal decides its toxicity such as the inorganic arsenic exhibits higher toxicity in comparison to the organic forms. The scientists are developing analytical techniques to find the presence of specific forms of arsenic in beverages or foods. The arsenic in certain drinks showed 10 parts-per-billion limits whereas some contained 18 and 11*g/L arsenic. Detailed testing showed German lager had 5.5*g/L, Scottish ale to contain 3.8*g/L, a US ale 4.5*g/L, a Dutch lager 2.1*g/L, a Barbados lager 3.4*g/L, a Czech lager 2.9*g/L, and an Irish lager 1.1*g/L. The red wine showed an Argentinian at 6.9*g/L, an Australian at 2.6*g/L, and a US at 7.7*g/L whereas the Argentinian white wine had a 6/9*g/L, South African 4.9*g/L, and a French 5.1*g/L.
The level of arsenic can be reduced by including other metals such as lead and cadmium according to the researchers at the FDA’s Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The dietary exposure to heavy metals has to be mitigated like reducing levels of lead in bottled drinking water and also reducing arsenic levels in apple juices. The source of these heavy metals is still unclear and currently, the filters are being believed to be the source. Though the heavy-metal concentrations levels in beer and wine have not yet been determined by the US the values are being considered higher. Researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have found a new gene, GPR39, could help find a new target using which a new medication or treatment could be developed to eradicate alcoholism.