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(Targu Mures) Fluoride determination from tea and coffee
Romania (FASMR) - University of Medicine and Pharmacy Targu-Mures, Targu-Mures
Department of Biochemistry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Targu Mures
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Fluoride is a halogen found in soil, water, rocks, air, plants and animals in different quantities. Tea is the major source of exposure to fluoride in the general population. For both adults and children, the total dietary intake of fluoride from tea can exceed the upper tolerable intake limit (UL) at levels known to cause chronic fluoride intoxication. Because soluble fluoride is easily absorbed by the gastrointestional track, the bioavailability of fluoride from tea is close to 100%. Only the water-soluble ionic fluoride ingested is relevant to human health. In infants retention in bone can be as high as 90% of the absorbed amount, whereas in adults bone retention is 50% or less. In recent years several other studies have highlighted the safety concerns regarding the exposure to a high level of fluorides in teas. Different authors have drawn attention to the high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders caused by skeletal fluorosis among adults induced by habitual tea drinking.
What is the aim of the project?
The purpose of this research is to determine by a simple and precise method the potential fluoride content of various commercial teas, knowing that a negative quality criteria for tea is the fluoride content, which is influenced by the age of plant harvest, by the degree of crushing, the mode of drying the plant, the mode and the infusion time.
What techniques and methods are used?
A pH meter is used with an ion sensitivity electrode for fluoride to determine the concentration of fluoride in tea infusionsand coffee. For the release of fluoride from the infusions and coffee, Tisab II solution is used. Tisab II has to be mixed with the sample to help maintain ionic strength and constant pH. The metal-F complexes decompose with the solution. Samples are prepared for analysis after an infusion of 5, 10, 15 minutes. Three samples has to be prepared independently for each tea.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
After learning the laboratory tehnique, the students will prepare their own samples and do their own research. The students will determine the fluoride concentrations in tea infusions prepared using freshly boiled fluoridated drinking water. For every sample, the students, under the supervision of the tutor, will add a Total Ionic Strength Adjustment Buffer (TISAB) to each 20 mL aliquot. The fluoride concentrations in the so-prepared samples will be determined in duplicate with a fluoride ion selective electrode.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
A preliminar research needs to be done by the student about fluoride in teas and coffee, and afterwards discussion with the tutor.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster - The student will prepare an abstract
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic laboratory skills.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Waugh DT; Potter W; Limeback H; Godfrey M. Risk Assessment of Fluoride Intake from Tea in the Republic of Ireland and its Implications for Public Health and Water Fluoridation. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(3):259. Published 2016 Feb 26. doi:10.3390/ijerph13030259
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