Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society
Print version ISSN 0103-5053
GONCALVES, Alexandra M. et al. Determination and fractionation of barium in Brazil nuts. J. Braz. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2009, vol.20, n.4, pp. 760-769. ISSN 0103-5053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-50532009000400020.
Several sample preparation strategies were employed for determination and fractionation of barium in Brazil nuts using measurements by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF AAS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry with axial view (ICP OES). This food is widely consumed because of its nutritional value and good taste. The chemical analysis of Brazil nuts is not trivial due to their complex matrix. The fractionation of barium in Brazil nuts was studied owing to the toxicity of this element and the strong correlation between chemical form and absorption. Total concentrations of barium varied from 860 to 2084 mg kg-1. Sequential extractions were performed based on solubility in different media and also according to lipids, proteins and low molecular weight fractions (LMW). The greatest contents of barium were determined in the LMW and in the water insoluble fractions with concentrations in the range 778 to 1606 and 551 to 1520 mg kg-1, respectively. Based on these results it can be inferred that Ba is not absorbed when Brazil nuts are ingested. Considering both the contents of barium and sulfur in different fractions and stoichiometric calculations it was also possible to assume that barium occurs mainly in the BaSO4 form. The presence of this chemical form was also confirmed by thermogravimetric measurements.
Keywords : Brazil nuts; barium; fractionation; nutritional availability.