Trace Elemental and Speciation Analysis of Food

Trace elemental screening and speciation analysis of food is receiving global attention. Some elements are an essential part of a healthy diet, but others, such as lead, mercury, arsenic  and cadmium, offer no nutritional benefits to humans and are actually toxic.

Because food is the primary conduit for elements to enter humans, regulators are becoming stricter and requiring manufacturers to monitor levels of hazardous elements in foodstuffs. In addition, food manufacturers and suppliers are now legally required to label food with ingredients and nutritional information.

All of this is driving industry-wide demand for fast, sensitive, reliable and cost-effective testing methods for high-throughput trace elemental analysis of food. That's why we've created breakthrough technologies to identify organic and inorganic elements at ppm to sub-ppt levels across the lab with our broad portfolio of instrumentation. We help make it possible for scientists in the food and beverage market to work faster—and with the confidence and flexibility to adapt to changing demands.

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Determination of Essential and Trace Elemental Content in Infant Foods by ICP-MS

Listen to our free webcast to learn about the detection and analysis of essential and trace elemental content in baby foods using ICP-MS.

Metals in Food and Beverage

Once toxic elements are in the food chain, they can pose significant health risks. For this reason, it is essential to have simple and robust, analysis methods using techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), inductively coupled plasma – optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for determination of major and minor concentrations of elements and their species in food.

Trace level quantification of multiple elements in meat and meat products using ICP-MS

This application note demonstrates the ability of the Thermo Scientific iCAP RQ ICP-MS to quantify trace elements in meat and meat products in compliance with the AOAC 2015.01 guideline, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), and European Commission (EC) MRLs.

Speciation Applications Summary – Ion Chromatography

Download this applications summary notebook to learn about elemental speciation and why IC-ICP-MS is the method of choice when analyzing species of certain chemicals. The notebook includes summaries and links to full versions of application notes describing speciation of several different elements, including arsenic, bromine, chromium, iodide and mercury in a variety of matrices, from food to pharmaceuticals.

Nanoparticle Compendium

In recent years, single-particle ICP-MS, used to detect, characterize and quantify metal and metal oxide nanoparticles, such as Au, Ag and TiO2 particles, has evolved. Download this compendium to learn how ICP-MS instruments and software tools can improve characterization and quantification of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles.

Low level quantification of trace metals in rice using ICP-MS

This application note describes a workflow for the accurate, precise quantification of multiple trace-level elements in rice using ICP-MS. This optimized method offers an excellent solution for commercial food testing laboratories needing to improve sample throughput without sacrificing data quality.

Trace elemental quantification, including heavy metals in wheat, using ICP-MS

This application note describes a complete solution for quantification of trace levels of multiple elements in wheat. The method is based on microwave digestion and quantification using ICP-MS. This method meets the AOAC 2015.01 guidelines and the FSSAI, CFDA, and EU MRL requirements by achieving excellent accuracy (85–112%) and precision (<10%). 

Featured podcast

Trace elemental screening and speciation analysis is receiving global attention. Learn what it is, why it's important and how it can help address specific concerns around food.

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TypeTitleCategoryResource No.
eBookFood Safety Residue Testing using Mass SpectrometryVariousEB72890
BrochureMetals in Food and Beverage – Identification and Quantitation WorkflowsTrace Elemental AnalysisBR72713
BrochureMetals in Food and Beverage – Identification and Quantitation Workflows (Interactive Version)Trace Elemental AnalysisBR72713
Application NoteCadmium Determination in Crab Meat using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Atomic AbsorptionAN43188
Application NoteIron and Magnesium Determination in Meat using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Atomic AbsorptionAN43190
Application NoteDetermination of Inorganic Arsenic in Rice using IC-ICP-MSICP-MSAN43255
Application NotePetrochemical Series - Elemental Analysis of Canola Oil Using iCAP 7400 ICP-OESICP-OESAN40876
Application NoteIon Chromatography ICP-Q-MS for the Detection of As Species in Apple Juice ICP-MSPN70001
Application NoteThe Analysis of Cadmium in Chocolate by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption SpectrometryAtomic AbsorptionAN43034
Application NoteAnalysis of Toxic Elements in Drinking and Bottled Waters using the iCAP 7200 ICP-OES ICP-OESAN43154
Application NoteIC-ICP-MS Speciation analysis of As in Apple Juice using the iCAP Q ICP-MSICP-MSAN43099
Application NoteSpeciation analysis of Cr (III) and Cr (VI) in drinking waters using anion exchange chromatography coupled to the iCAP Q ICP-MSICP-MSAN43098
Application NoteIC-ICP-MS speciation analysis of As in Organic Brown Rice Syrup (OBRS) using the iCAP Q ICP-MS ICP-MSAN43126
Application NoteTotal Elemental Analysis of Food Samples for Routine and Research Laboratories Using the iCAP RQ ICP-MS ICP-MSAN43326
Application NoteThe Analysis of Trace Elements in Honey by Flame and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Atomic AbsorptionAN43060
Application NoteDetermination of nutritional elements in plant leaves using the Thermo Scientific iCAP 7400 ICP-OES DuoICP-OESAN44366
Application NoteDetermination of lead in powdered milk using the Thermo Scientific iCE 3500 AASAtomic AbsorptionAN44371
Application NoteAnalysis of infant formulae and milk powders using the Thermo Scientific iCAP 7400 ICP-OES DuoICP-OESAN44392
Application NotebookSpeciation Applications Summary – Ion ChromatographyVariousAN70590
Application NoteAnalysis of Cadmium in Chocolate by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Atomic AbsorptionAN43034
Application NoteAccurate Analysis of Low Levels of Mercury in Fish by Vapor Generation AAAtomic AbsorptionAN40992
Application NoteMercury Speciation Determinations in Asian Dietary Supplements   Ion ChromatographyPN70284
ArticleGetting to the truth of the grainIon Chromatography 
ArticleArsenic, Rice and RegulationsIon Chromatography 
JournalArsenic Queens University - Inorganic arsenic in rice-based products for infants and young childrenIon Chromatography 
Application NoteDetermination of Arsenic in Food and Beverages with Pure Oxygen Reactive Gas Using the iCAP RQ ICP-MSICP-MSAN43356
ArticleDetermination of Essential and Trace Elemental Content in Infant Foods by ICP-MSICP-MS 
Application NoteLow Level Quantification of Trace Metals in Rice using ICP-MSIC and IC-MSAN73020
Application NoteMultielemental Quantification of Trace Metals in Milk and Milk Products using ICP-MSIC and IC-MSAN73117
Application NoteTrace Elemental Quantification, Including Heavy Metals in Wheat, Using ICP-MSIC and ICP-MSAN73165

Food and Beverage Resource Library

Access a targeted collection of scientific application notes, case studies, videos, webinars and white papers for food microbiology, manufacturing and processing, beverage testing, analytical testing, and authenticity information.