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Recent developments in plant tissue analysis

  • Author(s): Laursen, Kristian H
  • Hansen, Thomas H
  • Persson, Daniel P
  • Schjoerring, Jan K
  • Husted, Soeren
  • et al.
Abstract

Plant tissue analysis is a valuable tool for evaluation of the nutritional quality of crops and for optimal fertilizer application. The majority of plant analyses are currently performed with “full-quantitative” ICP spectrometry, which relies on expensive and labor intensive analytical procedures. The costs for such analyses are often considered too high by farmers, gardeners and agricultural consultants, thus limiting its dispersal significantly. We have recently developed a fast “semi-quantitative” ICP-MS based method, which enabled simultaneous measurement of more than 70 elements of the periodic table. When combining the method with a high-throughput sample digestion procedure, the labor consumption and analytical costs were reduced significantly. A 5-fold reduction in sample preparation and data acquisition time was obtained, while more than three times as many elements were quantified compared to the traditional full-quantitative analysis. The developed method was tested on several plant tissue types with satisfactory results for a large number of elements. It is concluded that semi-quantitative ICP-MS represents a very promising analytical tool for plant tissue analysis. Combined with chemometrics it was also shown that semi-quantitative ICP-MS has the potential to mature into a routine procedure for testing e.g. the authenticity and adulteration of plant based food products.

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