Digestion of Fish Samples for Mercury Analysis

The Multiwave 7101/7301/7501 series with its PDC (Pressurized Digestion Cavity) offers the opportunity to digest any kind of fish sample for subsequent mercury analysis even within one run.

Mercury concentration in fish is a major concern for food safety. Therefore, fish samples have to be monitored for mercury on a routine basis all over the world.

However, mercury analysis holds some known challenges, like the volatility of mercury as an element and the even higher volatility of some mercury-organic compounds (i.e. Methyl-Hg). Another well-known issue is the property of mercury complexes to be adsorbed to polymer surfaces thus making quartz a favorable material for digestion, but also requiring preventive measures on the sample introduction path as not to bias the mercury values due to adsorption and cross contamination.

In order to demonstrate the excellent suitability of Multiwave 7101/7301/7501 series for sample preparation prior to mercury analysis the recovery rate of an exemplary standard reference material was determined together with a set of everyday fresh-water fish samples, where the values were compared with the findings of the well-established laboratory method with Multiwave 3000 and Rotor 8SXQ80. The described conditions may be representative for different kinds of meat and food samples or can be used as a starting point for a sample specific optimization.

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