Impurities analysis of Sunflower Oil by high-resolution ICP-OES

Sunflower oil is a vegetable oil that is commonly used as main component or supplement in food, such as frying oil, salad dressing, baby food, margarine, or mayonnaise. Furthermore, it is used as an additive in cosmetics, biodiesel, varnish, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. Sunflower oil is among the most widely produced vegetable oils and is obtained from the seeds of the sunflower plant. The production includes the initial oil extraction by pressing (cold or hot) and refining processes such as solvent extraction, degumming, bleaching, and dewaxing. Refining sunflower oil increases its heat stability for frying and cooking purposes but is known to remove nutritional components (fatty acids, phospholipids, etc.), resulting in lower nutritional value and different sensory properties, such as color and flavor of the final product. Refining procedures such as transesterification or hardening aim to alter other properties, such as melting behavior, and involve the use of catalysts. Due to its high viscosity and potential crystallinity, sunflower oil cannot be analyzed neatly for its elemental contents. The fully organic sample matrix of kerosene/sunflower oil, however, requires a highly robust plasma system as well as the highest spectral resolution in order to resolve analyte lines from the extensive unspecific background signal originating from kerosene.

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