Researchers Mr Luthando Nyaba and Prof Philiswa Nomngongo at the University of Johannesburg have developed a faster, more sensitive and more economical method to directly identify toxic and carcinogenic heavy metals in vegetables and drinking water. This is the first time where a clay-based adsorbent is combined with a cloud point extraction method for simultaneous analysis of trace metals in vegetables and palatable water.
The method uses ultra-sound assisted cloud-point extraction and dispersive micro-solid phase extraction to preconcentrate samples from vegetables and water. The samples are then directly analysed with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The instrumentation used is readily available in laboratories in developing countries.
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