At-Line Micronutrient Analysis in Food Using Energy-dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (ED-XRF) Spectroscopy at the Point of Production


The ability to conduct elemental analysis of materials close to the production line has significant advantages in improving product quality and consistency while maximizing throughput. This is especially true in micronutrient analysis. In recent years, the main laboratory method for elemental analysis of plant tissue with dependable accuracy and sufficient sensitivity has been inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). One drawback of ICP-OES methods is that they must be done in a lab. A second drawback is that these methods require extensive sample preparation, which can add hours to the process and in some cases actually be hazardous.

ED-XRF analysis, on the other hand, is performed directly on a sample, usually with little preparation and with powerful new portable instruments that can be used anywhere in the plant. Once a sample is collected from any process point, it can be analyzed rapidly and accurately right at the point of production. With a carefully selected system, at-line analysis using new generations of ED-XRF instruments can deliver the level of accuracy once found only in the lab.

Helfried Miersch

Geb. 19. November 1954 in Freiberg/Sachsen
1973 Abitur
1976 bis 81 Studium der Physik an der TU Dresden
1988 Promotion
1981 bis 1988 Mitarbeiter bei Carl Zeiss Jena
1988 bis 89 Direktor R&D bei Zeiss in Freiberg
1992 bis 98 Rich. Seifert & Co, GmbH
seit 1998 Spectro A.I. GmbH