Abstract

A compact laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument and a simple sample preparation method were developed for rapid on-site analysis of Mg, Ca, and K in edible sea salt products. The LIBS instrument was assembled using a small diode-pumped solid-state laser and a handheld spectrometer. Aqueous solutions of salts were prepared and sampled by using pieces of filter papers. The dried filter paper was attached on the flat surface of a silicon wafer and then analyzed by LIBS. Calibration curves were obtained using binary mixtures of ${\rm NaCl} {-} {{\rm MgSO}_4}$, ${\rm NaCl} {-} {{\rm CaCl}_2}$, and NaCl−KCl and used to estimate the concentrations of Mg, Ca, and K in 13 edible sea salt products. Matrix effects on the results from LIBS were identified in comparison with those from inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. This indicates that the matrix of sea salt samples is significantly different from that of the binary mixture standards. The sea salts with known concentrations of Mg, Ca, and K were employed to match the matrices of samples and standards. This improved analysis accuracy remarkably. Furthermore, an alternative indirect method for estimating the concentration of K was suggested on the basis of the strong positive correlations observed between the concentrations of Mg and K in the sea salt samples.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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