Over the past few decades, several techniques have been applied to identify the geographical origins of rice products. In this study, the chemical characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was carefully conducted by analysing PAHs in rice samples collected from private sector planting areas located in Bali and Yogyakarta, Indonesia (i.e. ID; n = 20), west sides of Malaysia (i.e. MY; n = 20), Mandalay, Legend, Myingyan, Myanmar (i.e. MM; n = 20), northern parts of Lao PDR (i.e. LA; n = 20), central parts of Cambodia (i.e. KH; n = 20), northern parts of Vietnam (i.e. VN; n = 20), and Thailand (i.e. TH; n = 22).
Percentage contributions show the exceedingly high abundance of 5–6 ring PAH congeners in rice samples collected from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Lao PDR rice samples were overwhelmed by 4-ring PAH congeners with the percentage contribution of 46% followed by 5–6 ring PAHs (33%) and 3-ring PAHs (21%). In addition, hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis can successfully categorize some rice samples based on its geographical origins.