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Safer Dietary Supplements Through Accurate Testing

August 9, 2016

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Fast, accurate dietary supplement testing is essential to ensuring the safety and quality
of dietary supplements. As spectroscopic instrumentation has improved and lowered
detection limits, CEM has made advances in microwave sample preparation, to simplify the
technique and ensure complete digestions. Using the MARS 6™ (Microwave Accelerated
Reaction System), manufactured by CEM Corporation, several types of dietary supplements
and reference standards were prepared for elemental analysis. The samples and reference
standards were digested, diluted, and analyzed, using inductively coupled plasma optical
emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), with good recovery results. Recovery data for the dietary
supplements and reference standards prepared in each system is presented to show elements
of interest, such as mercury, arsenic, and lead. Advancements in power delivery and in-vessel
stirring enable the MARS 6 microwave to handle increased sample sizes. Sample sizes as large
as 2 grams were able to be completely digested, which allows for maximum accuracy and
precision during the analytical process.

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