Environmental Science

Plant Analysis

Learn how to analyze for contaminants in plants before they enter the food system. Bruker provides multiple solutions to analyze plants for contaminants which endanger the environment and its inhabitants .

Monitoring of Heavy Metals and Hazardous Elements in Plants with XRF

Plants can take up heavy metals and other dangerous elements from the soil or other growth media. It’s important to monitor their composition during the grow cycle to help ensure safety for the people and animals who consume them. Conversely, since some plants are known to readily take up heavy metals, their success at bioremediation of contaminated soils should be monitored for effectiveness.

XRF is a fast, nondestructive technology for elemental analysis of macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, and heavy metals of the entire plant system, including seeds, soil, irrigants, fertilizers, the root system, and the shoot system.  Bruker’s Elemental Analyzer portfolio includes high-throughput lab-based ED-XRF and WD-XRF, point-and-shoot handheld XRF,  micro-XRF, and total reflection XRF (TXRF) spectrometers.

Portable XRF is used for screening ingestible plants to ensure they are not taking up heavy metals. Since PXRF measures heavy metals in soil, these analyzers can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of plant bioremediation efforts. The bonus benefit of handheld XRF is it can be used in the lab, greenhouse, back of the truck, or in the field providing real-time data to determine data-driven decisions and action.

TXRF provides multi-element analysis of plants with the sensitivity of ICP-OES and AAS for heavy metal analysis without needing external calibrations or high maintenance costs. TXRF elemental analysis is a significantly faster and “greener” method than ICP.

Contaminants and Residues Screening by Mass Spectrometry

Pesticides and chemical residues in our crops can seriously affect food quality and human health. GC-MS and LC-MS triple quad systems are weighty used for contaminants residues screening. 

Bruker’s screening solutions are developed to be able to follow the most stringent local regulations. At this moment and time more and more laboratories and regulatory bodies are screening even on, not yet regulated contaminants and residue's using high resolution Mass Spectrometry systems. All these solutions are designed to be robust and user friendly, as well hardware as software.