The analysis of elements in beverages is a routine practice to ensure consumer safety and product quality. A typical analysis would include both the measurement of toxic elements as well as those which provide nutritional benefit to the consumer. Historically, the analytical technique of choice was atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). However, due to the limitations of AAS, such as its ability to measure only one element at a time, there has been a shift towards inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES).
Within the European Union, guidance on the analysis of beverages is provided by the means of the Reports on tasks for Scientific Cooperation (SCOOP, Task 3.2.11) and the Committee on Toxicity (COT; Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, 2004). The elements typically analyzed as a result of this guidance are outlined in Table 1.