Laser-Ablation Sampling for Accurate Analysis of Sulfur in Edible Salts
We evaluated the performance of laser ablation analysis techniques such as laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), laser ablation inductively coupled optical emission spectrometry (LA-ICP-OES), and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), in comparison with that of ICP-OES using aqueous solutions for the quantification of sulfur (S) in edible salts from different geographical origins. We found that the laser ablation based sampling techniques were not influenced by loss of S, which was observed in ICP-OES with aqueous solutions for a certain salt upon their dissolution in aqueous solutions, originating from the formation of volatile species and precipitates upon their dilution in water. Although detection of S using direct laser sampling with LA-ICP-MS has well-known isobaric and polyatomic interferences, LIBS and LA-ICP-OES showed good accuracy in the detection of S for all salts. LIBS also provided the ability to identify the dominant chemical form in which S is present in salts. Correlation between S and oxygen, observed in LIBS spectra, provided chemical information about the presence of S2– or SO2−4SO42-, which are associated with the origin and quality of edible salts.