The simultaneous analysis of eight essential trace elements in human milk by ICP-MS

Mohd-Taufek, Nor, Cartwright, David, Davies, Mark, Hewavitharana, Amitha K., Koorts, Pieter, Shaw, Paul N., Sumner, Ronald, Lee, Eugene and Whitfield, Karen (2016) The simultaneous analysis of eight essential trace elements in human milk by ICP-MS. Food Analytical Methods, 9 7: 1-8. doi:10.1007/s12161-015-0396-z

Author Mohd-Taufek, Nor
Cartwright, David
Davies, Mark
Hewavitharana, Amitha K.
Koorts, Pieter
Shaw, Paul N.
Sumner, Ronald
Lee, Eugene
Whitfield, Karen
Title The simultaneous analysis of eight essential trace elements in human milk by ICP-MS
Journal name Food Analytical Methods   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1936-976X
Publication date 2016-01-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12161-015-0396-z
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 9
Issue 7
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Trace elements are commonly present as components of metabolic enzymes, hormones and antioxidants in human milk. Previous studies have reported single or few elements in relatively large volumes of human milk using complex, time-consuming and expensive methods involving microwave-assisted acid digestion and extraction using tetramethylammonium hydroxide at various temperatures. We report here a validated alkaline dissolution method using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, ammonia solution, isopropanol and Triton X-100 to simultaneously determine trace elements in 0.2 mL samples of human milk by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The trace elements zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), manganese (Mn), iodine (I), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), bromine (Br), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), bismuth (Bi), aluminium (Al), antimony (Sb), vanadium (V), thallium (Tl) and uranium (U) were detected, and the method was applied quantitatively to 12 samples of human milk. The results for method validation showed good sensitivity, accuracy and repeatability for Zn, Cu, Se, Mn, I, Fe, Mo and Br. The mean ± SD of these elements in the above human milk samples (μg/L) were 1390.6 ± 211.5, 220.8 ± 32.9, 14.3 ± 5.8, 1.37 ± 0.14, 113.5 ± 17.1, 47.3 ± 99.9, 0.37 ± 0.12 and 812.6 ± 127.7, respectively. This method is precise, reliable, straightforward and cost-effective in the determination of trace elements simultaneously in small sample volumes of human milk. Method application permits routine monitoring of several elements and the ongoing assessment of trace element nutrition in breast milk. It is the first method to highlight the relatively high Br levels present in human milk.
Keyword Human milk
Method validation
Trace elements
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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