Facultade de Fisioterapia

Fast method for multielemental analysis of plants and discrimination according to the anatomical part by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry

Authors: Inmaculada de la Calle, M. Costas, Noelia Cabaleiro, Isela Lavilla, Carlos Bendicho

Journal: Food Chemistry, 138: 234-241, 05/2013

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.09.105


Fast and reliable analytical methodologies are required for quality control of plants in order to assure human health. Ultrasound-assisted extraction in combination with total reflection X-ray fluorescence is proposed as a fast and simple method for multielemental analysis of plants on a routine basis. For this purpose, five certified reference materials have been analysed for the determination of P, K, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb. Different extractant media (acids and oxidants) were tried. A mixture of diluted HNO3 + HCl + HF, was selected as the best option for the achievement of complete extractions. Accurate and precise results can be reached in most cases along with a high sample throughput. Different plants (i.e., herbs, spices and medicinal plants) were analysed. Linear discriminant analysis together with the elemental concentrations allowed the differentiation of commercial preparations corresponding to flower, fruit and leaf.