Optimization of a Slurry Dispersion Method for Minerals and Trace Elements Analysis in Infant Formulae by ICP OES and FAAS
Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES)
Flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS)
Infant formula
Trace elements
Issue Date: 
Navarro-Blasco, I. (Íñigo); Sola-Larrañaga, C. (Cristina). "Optimization of a Slurry Dispersion Method for Minerals and Trace Elements Analysis in Infant Formulae by ICP OES and FAAS". Food Chemistryt; 2009,115(3):1048-1055.
Infant formula developed by manufacturers requires a rigorous control of composition, particularly those elements added routinely in an attempt to mimic the mineral composition of human milk. A total of 97 different types of powdered infant formulae (preterm, adapted starter, adapted follow-up, toddler, specialised and soy based formulae) commercially available in Spain were studied. It is noteworthy great differences in mineral (Ca, P, Mg) and trace element (Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn) contents found between analysed and listed in label information. The development of a fast, simple and direct slurry method for the determination of these essential micronutrients in infant formula by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) and flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) was performed in order to help in quality control tasks. Infant formula samples were solubilised using different amounts of several different solvents. An addition of 250 L of a solution 10 % tetramethylammonium hydroxide and 25 % ammonium hydroxide were required for the accurate quantification of Ca and P, Mg, Zn, Fe, Cu and Mn, respectively. The standard reference material 1549 non-fat milk powder was solubilised to compare the validity of assayed methodology following slurry nebulisation and traditional microwave-assisted acid digestion method. Good agreement of the analytical results by both ICP OES and FAAS, with the certified values was obtained. Method performance parameters (accuracy, precision and methodological detection limits) were determined for studied elements to check the quality and usefulness of the optimised slurry method. The analytical procedure was applied successfully to the analysis of a representative group of infant formulae. Levels of analysed elements were graphically represented, showing an acceptable comparability between slurry and acid-mineralisation method set by linear correlation coefficients and slopes close to the unit. The described simple and slurry method is appropriate, as an attractive alternative, for routine control analysis of added essential elements in infant formulae regardless of predominant protein type used in manufacture.

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