Facultade de Fisioterapia

Comparison of digestion methods for determination of trace and minor metals in plant samples

Authors: Isela Lavilla, Ana Virginia Filgueiras, Carlos Bendicho

Journal: J Agric Food Chem., 47: 5072-5077, 12/1999

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/jf990336w


In this paper, three dissolution methods using pressure digestion vessels (low-, medium-, and high-pressure vessels) for the determination of metals in plant samples are described. The Plackett−Burman saturated factorial design was used to identify the significant factors influencing wet ashing and to select optimized dissolution conditions. The three methods were statistically compared (on-way ANOVA) on the same sample; no significant differences were obtained. In all cases the relative standard deviation values were <3%. The digestion method based on the use of low-pressure vessels and a microwave oven was validated against CRM GBW07605 tea leaves. This method was applied to the determination of Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Mg, and Ca in 22 different medicinal, aromatic, and seasoning plants by flame-atomic absorption spectrometry. The concentration intervals of metal in the plants analyzed were the following:  Cu, 4 (Allium sativum)−35 (Thea sinensis) μg g-1; Zn, 7 (Piper nigrum)−90 (Betula alba) μg g-1; Mn, 9 (Allium sativum)−939 (Caryophylus aromaticus) μg g-1; Fe, 33 (Allium sativum)−2486 (Anethum graveolens) μg g-1; Mg, 495 (Allium sativum)−7458 (Ocimum basilicum) μg g-1; Ca, 386 (Allium sativum)−21500 (Ocimum basilicum) μg g-1.