Analytical methods and validation for determining trace elements in red wines

Santos, Susana, Nuno Lapa, Andreia Alves, João Morais, and Benilde Mendes. "Analytical methods and validation for determining trace elements in red wines." Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B: Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes. 48.5 (2013): 364-375.


The objective of this work is to quantify As, Hg, Cd, Ni and Pb in Portuguese red wines. First, the methods for the quantification of trace elements in red wines were validated. Several pre-treatments were compared, namely a pre-digestion process with HNO3, a pre-oxidation step with H2O2, and a spiking step of wine samples with a known concentration of the trace elements analyzed. Except for As, it was determined that the quantification of the trace elements does not require a pre-digestion process with HNO3. For all of the trace elements analyzed, a pre-oxidation step with H2O2 may enable an accurate quantification. The techniques chosen for the quantification of trace elements were hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (HGAAS) for As and Hg, electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS) for Cd, and flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) for Ni and Pb. In the second stage of this work, 25 Portuguese red wines spanning all of the red wine-producing regions were analyzed for all of the five trace elements referred to above. Only Cd and Pb have shown concentrations above the limit values defined by the “Organization Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin.” The Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) equation was used to determine in which wine-producing regions that wine consumption can be a problem for public health in terms of the concentrations of the five trace elements analyzed. THQ values have indicated that for the universe of the 25 red wines analyzed no region produces wines that can pose problems for public health, when the Portuguese red wine standard consumption is considered.

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