Determination of total tin in canned food using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy
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- Perring, L. & Basic-Dvorzak, M. Anal Bioanal Chem (2002) 374: 235. doi:10.1007/s00216-002-1420-x
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Tin is considered to be a priority contaminant by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Tin can enter foods either from natural sources, environmental pollution, packaging material or pesticides. Higher concentrations are found in processed food and canned foods. Dissolution of the tinplate depends on the of food matrix, acidity, presence of oxidising reagents (anthocyanin, nitrate, iron and copper) presence of air (oxygen) in the headspace, time and storage temperature. To reduce corrosion and dissolution of tin, nowadays cans are usually lacquered, which gives a marked reduction of tin migration into the food product. Due to the lack of modern validated published methods for food products, an ICP-AES (Inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectroscopy) method has been developed and evaluated. This technique is available in many laboratories in the food industry and is more sensitive than atomic absorption. Conditions of sample preparation and spectroscopic parameters for tin measurement by axial ICP-AES were investigated for their ruggedness. Two methods of preparation involving high-pressure ashing or microwave digestion in volumetric flasks were evaluated. They gave complete recovery of tin with similar accuracy and precision. Recoveries of tin from spiked products with two levels of tin were in the range 99±5%. Robust relative repeatabilities and intermediate reproducibilities were <5% for different food matrices containing >30 mg/kg of tin. Internal standard correction (indium or strontium) did not improve the method performance. Three emission lines for tin were tested (189.927, 283.998 and 235.485 nm) but only 189.927 nm was found to be robust enough with respect to interferences, especially at low tin concentrations. The LOQ (limit of quantification) was around 0.8 mg/kg at 189.927 nm. A survey of tin content in a range of canned foods is given.