Abstract

In this study, we investigate the capability of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXF) spectrometry in a triaxial geometry apparatus as a fast and nondestructive determination method of both dominant and contaminant elements in pharmaceutical iron supplements. The following iron supplements brands with their respective active ingredients were analyzed: Neutrofer fólico (iron gylcinate), Anemifer (iron(II) sulfate monohydrate), Noripurum (iron(III)-hydroxide polymaltose complex), Sulferbel (iron(II) sulfate monohydrate), and Combiron Fólico (carbonyl iron). Although we observe a good agreement between the iron content obtained by the present method and that indicated in the supplement's prescribed dose, we observe contamination by manganese and nickel of up to 180 μg and 36 μg, respectively. These contents correspond to 7.2% and 14.4% of the permitted daily exposure of manganese and nickel, respectively, for an average adult individual as determined by the European Medicine Agency (EMEA). The method was successfully validated against the concentrations of several certified reference materials of biological light matrices with similar concentrations of contaminants. Moreover, we also validated our method by comparing the concentrations with those obtained with the inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission technique.

© 2016 The Author(s)

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