Minerals are essential and must be ingested daily in certain doses through food. Both over- and undersupply of these elements can be harmful. Information on the levels of quantitative and trace elements in food is therefore of particular interest to consumers. Bulk elements such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus are often found in foods such as milk and dairy products, whole grains, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
The determination of the content of various trace elements may be necessary in all types of food of plant and animal origin. Typical analyses are for boron, chromium, iron, fluoride, iodine, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc.
Environmental contaminants such as heavy metals can also be found in food. These include arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium. Further information is available under the heading "Pollutants and residues".
Both minerals and heavy metals are analysed in our laboratory using the highly sensitive ICP-MS measurement.