Application Note Details Instrument Conditions Needed to Accurately Analyze Low Levels of Mercury in Fish

Jan. 28, 2009

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has published an application note demonstrating the capability of the Thermo Scientific iCE 3000 Series AA spectrometer and the Thermo Scientific VP100 vapor generation accessory to detect trace levels of mercury in fish. The application note, entitled “Accurate analysis of low levels of mercury in fish by hydride generation AA”, gives details of the reagents, sample preparation and instrument conditions needed to accurately analyze low levels of mercury.

Mercury is an environmental toxin that is capable of entering the marine food chain, and the consumption of contaminated fish can prove fatal. Growing concerns about the possible presence of this toxic chemical in the food supply chain have led to tighter restrictions on its presence in the food we eat. Countries and organizations around the world have developed regulations that enforce maximum concentrations of mercury in fish of approximately 0.5 mg/kg wet weight. Coupled with the VP100 vapor generation accessory, the iCE 3000 Series AA spectrometers are capable of reaching detection limits of 0.014 mg/kg. Standards in this application were prepared from a 1000 ppm (mg/L) mercury standard solution ,and the results demonstrated excellent linearity up to 100 ppb, equivalent to 20 mg/kg in a fish sample.

The speed and efficiency of the VP100 allows the analysis of a sample approximately every 90 seconds, while the iCE 3000 Series AA allows further method optimization, providing full control over the analysis. This combination allows users to analyze mercury samples more easily and cost-effectively.

The iCE 3000 Series range of AA spectrometers combine optics and design to provide analytical performance, while the VP100 offers fast and repeatable analysis. The iCE 3000 Series AA operates on the Thermo Scientific iCE SOLAAR software platform, which gives step-by-step instructions to allow quick set-up and easy optimization of the analyses.