Analysis of beverages for Hg, As, Pb, and Cd with a field portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer.
Analytical capabilities of a handheld X-ray tube analyzer for analysis of beverages were evaluated. Sets of standard solutions for the elements Hg, As, Pb, and Cd were prepared with mass fractions up to 5000 mg/kg. A thirst quencher beverage was spiked with these elements up to mass fractions of 2500 mg/kg. Portions of these solutions were placed in standard X-ray fluorescence (XRF) cells, as well as the original container, and analyzed by using a field portable Innov-X alpha-6000s XRF tube-type analyzer. Uncorrected analyzer output usually yielded qualitative or semiquantitative results for the spiked beverages in X-ray cells. Average correction factors applied to analyzer output yielded accurate (in terms of z-scores) quantitative results for As above 20 mg/kg and qualitative or semiquantitative results for the other elements. Weighted quadratic fit calibrations provided accurate quantitative or semiquantitative results for all elements at levels above 20 mg/kg. The instrument's preset X-ray overlap correction algorithm worked well for the beverage spiked with all four elements. Spiked beverages analyzed through the wall of the original polyethylene terephthalate container produced accurate results within measurement uncertainties after application of "container wall" correction factors.
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