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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 314-318

Ion Chromatography Determination of Nitrite and Nitrate in Cured Meat: An Undergraduate Analytical or Instrumental Methods Laboratory Exercise

JoAnn S. Roberts and Michelle M. Ivey*

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL 33458,
Received July 5, 2011. September 19, 2011.

Published: 9 December 2011

Abstract. Ion chromatography is a powerful tool for determining the concentration of nitrite and nitrate in complex matrices. Salts of nitrate and nitrite are used in the curing of meat, but studies have indicated that these ions can cause toxicity in humans and animals, due to their role in the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. In this exercise, students analyze a meat sample of their choice to determine the concentration of nitrite and nitrate. They will become familiar with techniques for sample preparation including extraction, centrifugation, filtration, and pretreatment to remove interfering ions. They will also become familiar with the use of calibration curves, as well as performing a percent recovery experiment. This laboratory exercise can be used in an undergraduate course in analytical or instrumental methods.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; anions; extraction; cured meat; nitrate; nitrite; matrix interference

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (50 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

A student handout containing background information, pre-lab questions, and a data sheet to summarize their results, is available online. An instructor’s manual, including list of equipment and answer key to the pre-lab questions, is also included. These materials were prepared with Microsoft Word (2003 SP2) (46 KB).

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