Milk is an important source of nutrients, mainly for children. Because of its importance, milk is available in several different forms, most commonly as fresh, but it is also available in nonperishable forms (such as powdered and evaporated). Therefore, the requirement exists to analyze several forms of milk for nutritional elements. While ICP-OES is generally favored in a multi-element analytical environment, the cost savings, simplicity and speed of operation of a flame atomic absorption (AA) system provide an attractive alternative. Measuring multiple elements by flame AA requires each sample to be analyzed individually for each element, which impacts the speed advantage of flame AA – however, to address the speed issue, a fast, high-throughput sample automation system can be used.
This work demonstrates the ability of the PinAAcle™ 900 AA spectrometer to reliably and effectively analyze common nutritional elements in a variety of milks over a wide range of concentrations. Coupling the PinAAcle 900 with the FAST Flame 2 sample automation accessory minimizes user error when performing dilutions and making calibration standards increases throughput and provides excellent long-term stability, increasing productivity for the laboratory.