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Sample Preparation for Food Analysis, General


  1. Michael J. Lichon

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1026

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Lichon, M. J. 2006. Sample Preparation for Food Analysis, General. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Sample preparation is the obtaining and manipulation of representative portions of a whole prior to subjecting it to any particular analysis. This includes all steps from design and implementation of sampling from the whole, bulk matrix, or population, in such a manner as to represent the whole (or some determinable aspect of the whole), reduction of particle size, mixing, drying, weighing, dilution, and any number of physical or chemical manipulations prior to analysis. These may include apportionment, storage, digestion, extraction, cleanup separation, and derivatization. While the purpose of these essential steps is to enhance precision and accuracy in determining an analyte concentration relating to the whole, each step adds inherent errors to the result. Furthermore, they may contribute to the contamination and deterioration of the sample relative to the original whole. The consistent use of observation, documenting, replication of test portions, recoveries and reference materials should highlight problem areas. These may be reduced, or at least quantified, using the skill of the professional analyst.