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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 19 (2014) pp 283-286

Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic Determination of Iron in Breakfast Cereals: A Validated Experiment for the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

Ali Bazzi*, Judith Bazzi, Yiwei Deng, and Marwa Ayyash

University of Michigan-Dearborn, Department of Natural Sciences, 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, Michigan, USA 48128-1491,
Received May 23, 2014. Accepted August 21, 2014.

Published: 26 September 2014

Abstract. A validated analytical chemistry laboratory experiment for the determination of iron in six brands of breakfast cereals with flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) is presented. The cereal sample was dry-ashed in a silica or alumina crucible at high temperature, and consequently dissolved with hydrochloric acid solution. To minimize the matrix effect on the analytical signal, the standard addition method was used in sample preparation prior to the analysis step. Atomization was accomplished with air/acetylene flame, and absorbance measurements were made at the 248.3 nm iron resonance line. Results obtained by forty-one students in a multi-section analytical chemistry course are reported. In addition to providing a milieu to learn the fundamentals of FAAS and the standard addition methodology, this laboratory experiment demonstrates the application of FAAS to analyze food products familiar to students, and therefore makes the learning experience more germane. The validation of the experimental procedure was performed by determining the iron content of a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference Material (SRM) Fortified Breakfast Cereal.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytical chemistry; hands-on learning; atomic spectroscopy; cereal; standard addition; NIST standard reference material

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (266 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Two supporting files are available; the laboratoryprocedure handout and instructor’s notes (132 KB).

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