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Thermo Fisher Scientific has published an application note demonstrating the capability of the Thermo Scientific ICE 3000 Series AA spectrometers and its VP100 vapour generation accessory.

The note details the use of these instruments to accurately detect trace levels of mercury in fish.

Mercury is a significant environmental toxin that is capable of entering the marine food chain.

The consumption of contaminated fish is the main route of human exposure to mercury, which can prove fatal.

The application note, ‘Accurate analysis of low levels of mercury in fish by hydride generation AA’, gives details of the reagents, sample preparation and instrument conditions needed to accurately analyse low levels of mercury.

Growing concerns about the possible presence of this toxic chemical in the food supply chain have led to tighter restrictions on its presence in the food we eat.

Countries and organisations around the world have developed regulations that enforce maximum concentrations of mercury in fish of approximately 0.5mg/kg wet weight.

Coupled with the VP100 vapour generation accessory, the ICE 3000 Series AA spectrometers are capable of reaching detection limits of 0.014mg/kg.

The sensitivity and precision of this configuration meets the detection limits detailed in all current international guidelines.

Standards in one application were prepared from a 1,000ppm (mg/L) mercury standard solution.

The results demonstrated linearity up to 100ppb, equivalent to 20mg/kg in a fish sample.

The VP100 allows the analysis of a sample approximately every 90 seconds, while the ICE 3000 Series AA allows further method optimisation, providing full control over the analysis.

The ICE 3000 Series AA operates on the Thermo Scientific ICE Solaar software platform.

The Solaar software gives step-by-step instructions to allow quick setup and optimisation of the analyses.

The application note is available to download free of charge via the company website.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (Elemental Analysis)

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