Facultade de Fisioterapia

Improved microwave-assisted wet digestión procedures for accurate Se determination in fish and shellfish by flow injection-hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry

Authors: Isela Lavilla, J.M. González-Costas, Carlos Bendicho

Journal: Analytica Chimica Acta, 591: 225-230, 05/2007

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2007.03.075


Accurate determination of Se in biological samples, especially fish and shellfish, by hydride generation techniques has generally proven troublesome owing to the presence of organoselenium that cannot readily converted into inorganic selenium under usual oxidising conditions. Further improvements in the oxidation procedures are needed so as to obtain accurate concentration values when this type of samples is analyzed.

Microwave-assisted wet digestion (MAWD) procedures of seafood based on HNO3 or the mixture HNO3/H2O2 and further thermal reduction of the Se(VI) formed to Se(IV) were evaluated. These procedures were as follows: (I) without H2O2 and without heating to dryness; (II) without H2O2 and with heating to dryness; (III) with H2O2 and without heating to dryness; (IV) with H2O2 and with heating to dryness. In general, low recoveries of selenium are obtained for several marine species (e.g., crustaceans and cephalopods), which may be ascribed to the presence of Se forms mainly associated with nonpolar proteins and lipids. Post-digestion UV irradiation proved very efficient since not only complete organoselenium decomposition was achieved but also the final step required for prereduction of Se(VI) into Se(IV) (i.e. heating at 90 °C for 30 min in 6 M HCl) could be avoided. With the MAWD/UV procedure, the use of strong oxidising agents (persuphate, etc.) or acids (e.g. perchloric acid) which are typically applied prior to Se determination by hydride generation techniques is overcome, and as a result, sample pre-treatment is significantly simplified.

The method was successfully validated against CRM DOLT-2 (dogfish liver), CRM DORM-2 (dogfish muscle) and CRM TORT-2 (lobster hepatopancreas). Automated ultrasonic slurry sampling with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry was also applied for comparison.

Total Se contents in ten seafood samples were established. Se levels ranged from 0.7 to 2.9 μg g−1.