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Spot Test Analysis

General Articles

  1. Ervin Jungreis

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a8111

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Jungreis, E. 2006. Spot Test Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Sensitive and selective qualitative tests based on chemical reactions using small amounts of complex and reagents are referred to as “spot tests”. The target is to reach the utmost sensitivity and selectivity with a minimum of physical and chemical operations.

Rapid advances in spectral, chromatographic, nuclear, mass spectroscopic and electroanalytical research have changed analytical chemistry spectacularly and developed highly sophisticated analytical tools. At the same time another development has taken place in certain distinct areas of application in exactly the opposite direction. This is the search for simple, compact and inexpensive analytical devices for semiquantitative evaluation of certain elements or compounds where such approximate evaluation has diagnostic value at least in the first stage of examination.

Major manufacturers of chemical reagents concentrated their efforts mainly in a number of applicative areas, namely clinical analysis, forensic tests, air and water quality control (QC) tests and soil and food QC tests.

It must be emphasized that the applicability of spot test methodology is limited and for the exact determination of chemical substances, complex analytical procedures are unavoidable. Although the use of spot and screening tests is marginal, the margin, however, is quite significant.