Metal and Microelements

The analysis of heavy metals is part of the broader scenario of the monitoring of undesired substances.

Starting from Reg. CE n. 466/2001 and the following Reg. CE n. 1881/2006 the presence of some metals in food has been subjected to particular restrictions. The increase of the analyses aimed at checking the content of inorganic contaminants has brought the attention to emerging problems, connected to the presence of elements such as cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic, both in food and feed.

Typologies of heavy metals

“Classical” heavy metals

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Lead

Other contaminating elements

  • Copper
  • Tin
  • Aluminium
  • Nickel
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Inorganic Arsenic

Analytical techniques

The inorganic mass spectrometry, indicated as ICP-MS – Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, is the selected analytical technique for the detection of traces of inorganic contaminants (at parts per billion level – ppb). It is based on the use of mass spectrometry together with the Inductively Coupled Plasma and it takes advantage of the use of a plasma torch (ICP) for producing the ionization, and of a mass spectrometer for the separation and detection of the ions produced.
When the limits to be reached are at parts per million level (ppm), as in the case of copper and tin, the analyses can be carried out also by ICP-AES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy), where the plasma flux is directed to an optical detector.


Accreditation by Accredia (Italian Accreditation Body) according to UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
[Accreditation number: 0026, Certificate first emission: 14/11/1991]

NEOTRON is a QS (Quality system – Germany) approved laboratory.

Legislative References

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 of 19 December 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
Council Directive 90/496/EEC of 24 September 1990 on nutrition labelling for foodstuffs.


To request the last P-Tests results, please contact Quality Assurance.

Revamping of Metal Lab and Clean Area

In 2020 Neotron completed the revamping of our Metal Lab, in which a clean area has been created for metal trace detection The clean room has been designed in compliance with ISO 8 standards aiming to reduce interferences from external environment and from contaminated materials.

Architectural, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic infrastructure , such as HVAC System, Ceiling according to Pharmaceutical standards, walls and floors completely covered by PVC, interlocked door control system and ventilated lockers have been implemented to guarantee the fulfilment of these very demanding standards.

This restructuring enables us to continue fulfilling more demanding customer needs avoiding cross contaminations and  guaranteeing the lowest limit of quantification, and satisfy new customers focus’ on hot topics such as elementary impurities (e.g. food and cosmetics), and explore new business areas such as semiconductors.

Please watch the video and do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Latest update: 08/02/2021 10:08:50