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Fast and Direct Na and K Determination in Table, Marine, and Low-Sodium Salts by X-ray Fluorescence and Chemometrics

Da-Col, Jose A., Bueno, Maria I. M. S., Melquiades, Fabio L.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2015 v.63 no.9 pp. 2406-2412
X-radiation, analytical methods, chemometrics, fluorescence, green chemistry, least squares, potassium, salts, sodium, table salt
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a fast, low-cost, nondestructive, and truly multielement analytical technique. The objectives of this study are to quantify the amount of Na+ and K+ in samples of table salt (refined, marine, and light) and to compare three different methodologies of quantification using XRF. A fundamental parameter method revealed difficulties in quantifying accurately lighter elements (Z < 22). A univariate methodology based on peak area calibration is an attractive alternative, even though additional steps of data manipulation might consume some time. Quantifications were performed with good correlations for both Na (r = 0.974) and K (r = 0.992). A partial least-squares (PLS) regression method with five latent variables was very fast. Na+ quantifications provided calibration errors lower than 16% and a correlation of 0.995. Of great concern was the observation of high Na+ levels in low-sodium salts. The presented application may be performed in a fast and multielement fashion, in accordance with Green Chemistry specifications.