Toxic metals (arsenic, lead, cadmium, etc.) in foods must be controlled down to low concentration levels. Shimadzu atomic absorption spectrophotometers and ICP emission spectrometers offer highly sensitive analysis of trace elements in foods. Shimadzu’s product lineup also includes X-ray fluorescence spectrometers that can perform elemental analysis without sample pretreatment. These instruments are ideal for screening analysis and emergency analysis.

Analysis of Cd and Pb in Food Additives (AA)

Shown here is an analysis of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in α-cyclodextrin (cyclic oligosaccharide), a substance used in functional foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc. The analysis was conducted by the AA-7000 atomic absorption

Peak profiles of Cd and Pb

Peak profiles of Cd and Pb

Measurement results of Cd and Pb in α-cyclodextrin

Element Cd Pb
Measured value <0.003 μg/g <0.07 μg/g
Spike and recovery rate 105 % 99 %

Simultaneous Analysis of Elements in Formula Milk Powder (ICP-MS)

ICP質量分析計 ICPMS-2030

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer

Formula milk powder is formulated to contain a good balance of minerals necessary for infant growth.
Regulations and guidelines in each country include stipulations on the essential mineral content, including calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu), of food for special dietary use (e.g., formulated milk powder for infants) and requires the labeling. This is an example of simultaneous analysis of elements present in formula milk powder (certified reference material [NMIJ CRM]) using ICP-MS.

Analytical results for certified reference material in formula milk powder (NMIJ CRM 7512-a)

Measured Value
(in Powder)
Certified Value
Spike and
Recovery (%)
Ca g/kg 8.50 8.65 0.38 -
Fe 0.102 0.104 0.007 -
K 8.30 8.41 0.33 -
Mg 0.820 0.819 0.024 -
Na 1.81 1.87 0.09 -
P 5.40 5.62 0.23 -
Mn mg/kg 0.91 0.931 0.032 -
Mo 0.230 0.223 0.012 -
Sr 5.70 5.88 0.20 -
Zn 41.0 41.3 1.4 -
Cd <0.005 - - 100
Cr <0.06 - - 101
Pb <0.03 - - 100
As <0.03 - - 108

Usage and Features of Elemental Analysis System

Product Usage / Feature Sample
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
AA-7000 Series
Atomic absorption spectrophotometry is widely used for tests compliant with various standards due to its high sensitivity. AA-7000 offers superior expandability due to its flexible system configuration. It also offers numerous safety features, such as a vibration sensor and a gas leakage detection system, as standard.
Liquid (or sample dissolved in solvent)

ICP Atomic Emission Spectrometer
ICPE-9800 Series
ICP atomic emission spectrometry is widely used for tests compliant with various standards due to its high sensitivity and rapidity when performing multi-element simultaneous analyses. ICPE-9800 series offers numerous features, including the simultaneous analysis of all elements, simple operation with its assistant functions, and low running costs.
Liquid (or sample dissolved in solvent)
ICP Mass Spectrometer
ICP mass spectrometry is a method of analysis that provides ultra-high sensitivity at ppt levels in addition to simultaneous multi-element analysis capabilities. ICPMS-2030, while being highly sensitive, also offers low running costs by reducing the argon gas flow. It also greatly improves the reliability of data through its assistant functions.
Liquid (or sample dissolved in solvent)
X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer
X-ray fluorescence spectrometry makes possible the nondestructive analysis, without pretreatment, of the elements in solid, powder, or liquid samples. EDX-7000/8000 are capable of detecting sub-ppm level heavy elements. Offering low running costs and superior maintenance features, these instruments are suitable for the screening of toxic metals.
Solid, powder, liquid

Analysis of Toxic Metals