Selenium Identification by Gamma Ray Spectrometry on Brazil Nuts Irradiated on IEN’s Argonauta Reacto


Arthur Fernandes Prado
Rogério Chaffin Nunes


Selenium is a chemical element which play an essencial role on human health, for, besides the considerable antioxidant function, it acts on the conversion of hormones T4 to T3, on the protection against the harmful action of heavy metals, on the prevention of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) and on the increase of the immune system resistance [1]. Bertholletia excelsa, the main source of selenium grown in Brazil, is commonly known as Brazil nuts. The consumption of these nuts have been largely recommended by nutritionists mainly by its high Selenium concentration whose values ​​vary between 5.8 and 169.9 μg / g  [2]. In this work, in order to initiate the qualitative studies on this valuable food piece in the city of Rio de Janeiro, this research project focused on the identification of Selenium in Brazil Nuts samples by the Neutron Activation Technique, in which the sample were irradiated in the J9 channel of the Argonauta research reactor of  the Nuclear Engineering Institute (IEN). The Selenium identification, activated by (n,γ) reaction, was carried by the Gamma Ray Spectrometry technique with a CANBERRA Hiper-Pure Germanium Detector (HPGe).


Application of Nuclear Techniques in Industry