Assessment of Accuracy and Precision

  • S. Suzanne Nielsen
Part of the Food Science Texts Series book series (FSTS)


Volumetric glassware, mechanical pipettes, and balances are used in many analytical laboratories. If the basic skills in the use of this glassware and equipment are mastered, laboratory exercises are easier, more enjoyable, and the results obtained are more accurate and precise. Measures of accuracy and precision can be calculated based on the data generated, given the glassware and equipment used, to evaluate the skill of the user as well as the reliability of the instrument and glassware.

Determining mass using an analytical balance is the most basic measurement made in an analytical laboratory. Determining and comparing mass is fundamental to assays such as moisture and fat determination. Accurately weighing reagents is the first step in preparing solutions for use in various assays.


Volumetric Flask Analytical Balance Standard Weight Relative Precision Percent Relative Error 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This laboratory was developed with inputs from Dr Charles E. Carpenter, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, UT.

Resource Materials

  1. Nielsen SS (2010) Introduction to food analysis, Ch. 1. In: Nielsen SS (ed) Food analysis, 4th edn. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Smith JS (2010) Evaluation of analytical data, Ch. 4. In: Nielsen SS (ed) Food Analysis, 4th edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Suzanne Nielsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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