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Chemistry and the Environment Division (VI)


Number: 2002-013-2-600

Title: Determination of trace elements in oils and fats by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) - evaluation of a method by collaborative study

Task Group
Richard Cantrill

to be appointed as the laboratories are recruited

Completion Date: 2006 - project abandoned

To collect precision data through international collaborative study for a universal method for the measurement of trace elements in fats and oils using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. To provide the supplementary data necessary to support an international standard method for the fats and oils industry.

The former IUPAC commission on Oils, Fats, and Derivatives was a major contributor to the development of standard methods of analysis for the international edible fats and oils industry. This group of experts supported the publication of a compendium of methods currently available as the 7th edition. IUPAC and AOAC International have also been major contributors to the standard method process by cooperating in the production of protocols and setting levels of expectation for the collaborative study of laboratory methods.

Trace element contamination of food grade fats and oils is regulated by Codex Alimentarius and national standards. The levels of certain elements poses a problem for the processing industry. Atomic absorption spectrometry has been a common technique applied to the measurement of trace element content. The expense involved in instrument maintenance, the requirements for sample handling and the poor reproducibility of the results when tested on a random sample, suggests that a more reliable technique is required. ICP-OES is a popular alternative method for trace element determination. It allows for the direct aspiration of solvent diluted fats and oils and gives results without the prior ashing step. At this time there is no international standard method using ICP-OES for trace elements. A study is proposed which would measure trace elements in oil using ISO 5725 and IUPAC harmonized guidelines. Laboratories affiliated with AOCS and FOSFA International, and also those proposed by ISO/TC 34/SC 11 from locations around the world will be invited to participate. According to the collaborative study protocols a minimum of 8 laboratories from 5 countries are required to participate. Normally approximately 15 laboratories are needed. The elements (Cadmium, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Nickel, Silicon and Sodium) will be present as multi-element mixtures at 5 different levels applicable to the oil industry.


project abandoned

Last update: 21 August 2007


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