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Thermo Fisher Scientific Flame and Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometers Facilitate Accurate, Optimized Analyses of Trace Elements in Rice Products

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This powerful range of AA instruments allows quick and easy optimization for precise flame and furnace analyses of nutritional and toxic elements in rice products at parts per million and parts per billion levels. The 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 literature library at www.thermo.com/ice.

Rice is the second-most prevalent cereal crop in the world, with an annual global production of approximately 600 million tons. Consequently, trace elemental analysis of rice and related products is important on a nutritional and toxicological level, and the analysis of heavy metals is of particular importance to human health. Global legislation now exists to regulate the permissible levels of cadmium in foodstuffs, with both China and the EU setting an upper limit of 0.2 mg/kg of cadmium in rice. Such legislation creates a requirement to monitor rice and rice products for trace metal content. The iCE 3000 Series is the ideal tool for accurate and rapid determination of multiple trace elements in rice products, ensuring optimal product quality in compliance with global legislation.

The new application note provides a detailed overview of sample and standard preparation with optimized methods for the analysis of copper, zinc, manganese, cadmium and lead in rice products using flame and furnace AA. Copper, manganese and zinc were analyzed 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. Since it was necessary to analyze these elements at trace levels, graphite furnace atomic absorption was used.

Experimental results demonstrate how easily 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 optimization. Flame and graphite furnace analyses generated excellent detection limits. Results were below 5 ug/kg for copper and zinc, below 40 ug/kg for manganese, 0.03 ug/kg for cadmium and 0.2 ug/kg for lead, easily ensuring regulatory compliance. A certified reference material was used to verify both the flame and furnace methods, obtaining excellent recoveries