Determination of Iron in Cereal Using Aas

Topics: Analytical chemistry, Breakfast, Spectroscopy Pages: 6 (1643 words) Published: July 19, 2013
Iron in Breakfast Cereal by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

1) To determine the actual iron content of different brands of cereals 2) To compare the experimental results with the values listed on the manufacturer’s labels.


Iron is one of the important minerals that is required for our bodies to function properly. Most of the iron in our body is found in the blood such as haemoglobin, approximately 60 -70% of the human body’s iron is found in the haemoglobin, a protein in the blood that transports oxygen. Iron is also present in muscle tissue and some enzymes. There are two types of iron in the body which are “Heme Iron” from animal products and “Non-Heme Iron” vegetables and fruits. Some examples of foods which contain large amount of iron are from grain products, poultry, fishes, fruit and vegetables. Some says that Iron is usually associated with the more colourful foods, red meats, dark green vegetables and the brown colours of whole grains. Fortified cereals and breads are also good sources of iron. Even cooking foods in iron pans and pots could increase amount of iron in our diet. Another useful fact is that our body tends to absorb iron better when iron from plant sources eaten with foods rich in vitamin C.

According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the need of intakes of iron varies and depends on ones age and gender. For instance, average men in age of 19 to 50 need 8 mg of iron per day which is less than average women age 19 to 50 iron intakes that is 18 mg per day. For pregnant woman, higher amount of iron is needed; thus 27 mg per day. The most common sickness due to lack of iron is Anemia which can cause extreme fatigue in adults and can delay kids’ mental and physical development.

In this experiment, we are testing the value of iron in breakfast cereals. Breakfast cereals may be fortified with a variety of vitamins and minerals to provide a completely balanced nutritional meal. Generally, a fortified food contains ingredient(s) that are not normally found in food in order to achieve a particular dietary purpose. Breakfast cereals has become some kind of primary source in providing iron minerals for us. In fact, in 1999, Americans consumed an average of 23.6 mg of iron per day, with 53% coming from grains and breakfast cereals.

Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy is used for qualitative and quantitative analysis which is sensitive to the concentration (in ppm) of compounds. AAS is frequently used for determination of minerals and metals ions. It is a preferable method due to its great sensitivity and detection limits compared to other methods, it can perform direct analysis for certain type of liquid sample,and usually have low spectral interference.


Sample Preparation:
1) ‘Koko Crunch’ is chosen as the sample of breakfast cereal. The cereal is crushed using mortar and pestle until it became smaller in size (small particles). The sample is then weighed 5 g accurately using the analytical balance. The process is tripled making 3 sets of sample. 2) Each sample is put into a 250 ml beaker and added with 50 ml of 3M Hydrochloric acid (HCl) After that, they are placed onto the hot plate to be simmered around 45 minute to break down the cereal. 3) After it is simmered, the sample is left to cool for a while. To make sure all of the sample gone into the beaker, the watch glass and the sides of the beaker is rinsed using a little Deionized water. 4) The sample is stirred thoroughly before it goes into centrifuge. After they re centrifuged, the sample is poured into 100 ml volumetric flask (to make sure no solids enter the volumetric flask, filter funnel and filter paper is used) , diluted using Deionized water to the mark, and homogenized.

Preparation Of Standard Solutions :
1) 1000 ppm stock solution of iron standard is supplied and diluted to 100 ppm using 100 ml volumetric flask using Deionized...

References: outreach/~/media/Knowledge%20Center/Learn%20Food%20Science/Food%20Science%20Activity%20Guide/activity_ironbreakfastcereal.ashx
Basic Instrumental Analysis, CHM 260 notes
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