Analysis of plant tissue for Zn by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrophotometry (ICP-OES) is relatively straightforward in most cases. However, the presence of Zn in many materials commonly used on farms and in laboratories means the potential for contamination of tissue samples is high. Because Zn is often low or deficient in the agricultural food chain (Welch and Graham 2004), contamination by external Zn could render experiments inconclusive or falsely suggest increased Zn accumulation. This article describes potential sources of contamination by their location within the analysis chain; (1) sampling, (2) storage, (3) handling and (4) instrumental analysis. Some sources (e.g. gloves) can occur in several categories, increasing the risk of errors.
Wheal, M.S.; Palmer, L.T. Potential Sources of Zn Contamination in the Analysis of Plant Tissue. Presented at 3rd International Zinc Symposium on ‘Improving Crop Production and Human Health’, Hyderabad, India, 10-14 October 2011. (2011) 2 pp.