Multielement Analysis of Tea and Mint Infusions by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

Abstract

High throughput analytical methodologies entailing low-cost multielemental analysis are attractive for identifying and quantitating elements in medicinal herb infusions. The aim of the present research was to develop a cost-effective and fast method for multielemental analysis of black tea and mint infusions by low-power TXRF instrumentation. The developed methodology was applied to study how infusion time, water temperature and type of water used to prepare infusions (tap, mineral and high purity water) affect element content in the resulting tea and mint beverages. Additionally, pH, conductivity, hardness and anionic composition of infusions and the different water types used to prepare the infusions were also considered. The elemental composition (K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br, Rb, Sr) of different preparations, as well as infusions from different commercial tea brands available in Jamaican and Spanish markets is reported. It is expected that the TXRF method developed as well as the information derived from this study may be useful in the fields of nutrition and health.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Spanish National Research Programme (project ref. CGL2013-48802-C3-2-R). The authors acknowledge the assistance provided by the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme and the help provided by Andre Gordon, Cordelia Samuels and Rasheda Lee in the laboratory tasks.

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Correspondence to Eva Marguí.

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This work was supported by the Spanish National Research Programme (project ref. CGL2013-48802-C3-2-R).

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Eva Marguí declares that she has no conflict of interest. Mitko Voutchkov declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Marguí, E., Voutchkov, M. Multielement Analysis of Tea and Mint Infusions by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. Food Anal. Methods 11, 282–291 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12161-017-0998-8

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Keywords

  • Medicinal plants
  • Tea
  • Mint
  • Infusions
  • TXRF
  • Multielemental analysis