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Iron, Copper and Zinc Determination in Wine

This application note describes the analysis of heavy metals in wine by Flame AAS following a simple dilution of the sample.

Heavy metals occur naturally in the ecosystem through anthropogenic sources such as pollution. Living organisms require varying amounts of “heavy metals” such as iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. However, exposure to excessive levels can be damaging to organisms.

This exposure can easily occur through dietary intake, through the consumption of wine for example. There are many contributing factors that determine the metal content in wine, including; soil, type of vineyard, various steps of the wine production cycle (from grape to the finished wine) and from wine processing equipment, conservation and bottling. Some metals can affect the quality of the wine, in particular zinc, copper and iron which can lead to haze formation in bottled wine. It is therefore recommended that winemakers screen for these metals prior to bottling. In addition, due to the increased use of copper sulfate as a fining agent, copper levels in wine are rising worldwide.

It is essential to ensure that levels are below the maximum recommended of 0.5 mg/L for copper and 30 mg/L for iron and zinc that is stipulated by EU directive EC 606/2009. The prescribed method of analysis is Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (FAAS).

This application note describes the analysis of heavy metals in wine by Flame AAS following a simple dilution of the sample.

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