Analysis of food and agricultural samples using ICP-MS

Agricultural products play a significant role in the daily uptake of nutrients and fibers to maintain good health. The agricultural products and resulting foods contain nutritional elements in various concentrations but also elements deemed to be toxic to humans and/or animals. Besides the organically bound elements: hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, there are more than 30 dietary elements necessary for the correct functioning of living organisms. According to their concentration, these elements are classified into macroelements (Ca, Mg, Na, K, P, S, Fe, Cu, Zn) with concentration levels above 0.01% and microelements (Ge, B, Cr, Sn, Zn, F, I, Co, Si, Li, Mn, Cu, Mo, Ni, Se, V, Fe) with less than 0.001% in bodily fluids and tissues. The importance of dietary elements is difficult to overestimate. The elements play a significant role in the constitution of bodies and in metabolic and other processes. For example, calcium is the main component of human bones and teeth. It also helps in clotting blood and is necessary for sending and receiving of nerve signals. Calcium deficiency can cause osteoporosis, metabolic disorder and other problems in human and animal body. Magnesium is important for ruminants to prevent grass tetany, selenium is known to be a major factor in the fertility of cows, and deficiency of manganese causes skeletal deformation in animals and inhibits the production of collagen in wound healing

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