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1.4 CHEMICAL SCIENCES, 3. MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Infant formula is a human milk substitute generally based upon fortified cow milk components. In order to mimic the composition of breast milk, trace elements such as copper, iron and zinc are usually added in a single operation using a premix. The correct addition of premixes must be verified to ensure that the target levels in infant formulae are achieved. In this study, a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system was assessed as a fast validation tool for trace element premixes. LIBS is a promising emission spectroscopic technique for elemental analysis, which offers real-time analyses, little to no sample preparation and ease of use. LIBS was employed for copper and iron determinations of premix samples ranging approximately from 0 to 120mg/kg Cu/1640mg/kg Fe. LIBS spectra are affected by several parameters, hindering subsequent quantitative analyses. This work aimed at testing three matrix-matched calibration approaches (simple-linear regression, multi-linear regression and partial least squares regression (PLS)) as means for precision and accuracy enhancement of LIBS quantitative analysis. All calibration models were first developed using a training set and then validated with an independent test set. PLS yielded the best results. For instance, the PLS model for copper provided a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.995 and a root mean square error of prediction (RMSEP) of 14mg/kg. Furthermore, LIBS was employed to penetrate through the samples by repetitively measuring the same spot. Consequently, LIBS spectra can be obtained as a function of sample layers. This information was used to explore whether measuring deeper into the sample could reduce possible surface-contaminant effects and provide better quantifications.
Raquel Cama-Moncunill, Maria P. Casado-Gavalda, Xavier Cama-Moncunill, Maria Markiewicz-Keszycka, Yash Dixit, Patrick J. Cullen, Carl Sullivan, Quantification of trace metals in infant formula premixes using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, Volume 135, 2017, Pages 6-14, ISSN 0584-8547, DOI: 10.1016/j.sab.2017.06.014.