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Thermo Fisher Scientific has published an application note illustrating the analytical capabilities of the Thermo Scientific Ice 3000 Series atomic absorption (AA) spectrometers.

The company claims that these AA instruments, which are used to monitor multiple trace metals in rice products, allow quick and easy optimisation for the precise flame and furnace analyses of nutritional and toxic elements in rice products at parts-per-million and parts-per-billion levels.

The trace elemental analysis of rice and related products is essential on a nutritional and toxicological level and the analysis of heavy metals is important for human health.

Legislation now exists to regulate the permissible levels of cadmium in foodstuffs, with both China and the European Union setting an upper limit of 0.2mg/kg of cadmium in rice.

Such legislation creates a requirement to monitor rice and rice products for trace metal content.

The Ice 3000 Series accurately and rapidly determines multiple trace elements in rice products, ensuring optimal product quality in compliance with global legislation, according to Thermo Fisher.

The application note provides a detailed overview of sample and standard preparation with optimised methods for the analysis of copper, zinc, manganese, cadmium and lead in rice products using flame and furnace AA.

Copper, manganese and zinc were analysed using flame atomic absorption, as these elements can be found as natural constituents in soils and water, which requires detection within the low mg/kg (ppm) range.

The research also looked for cadmium and lead, as these are toxic elements with no nutritional benefit.

As it was necessary to analyse these elements at trace levels, graphite furnace atomic absorption was used.

Experimental results demonstrate how the Ice 3000 Series AA spectrometers can be used for the multi-element analysis of rice products.

Wizards in Thermo Scientific Solaar software were used to facilitate both flame and furnace optimisation.

Flame and graphite furnace analyses generated excellent detection limits.

Results were less than 5ug/kg for copper and zinc, less than 40ug/kg for manganese, 0.03ug/kg for cadmium and 0.2ug/kg for lead.

Certified reference material was used to verify both the flame and furnace methods, obtaining good recoveries.

The full application note, entitled ‘Food Safety Series – Determination of Trace Elements in Rice Products by Flame and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry’, is available to download via the Thermo Scientific literature library.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Elemental Analysis)

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