Identification and relative ratios of cations and anions in orange juice, banana, soft drink, and various mineral tablets

Author(s): Ronald Bartzatt, Kelsey Palm, Nancy Handler

The identification and determination of relative ratios of cations and anions in various food products were determined by ion chromatography. All samples studiedwere fresh and intact fromthe commercial containers.Where appropriate the samples were diluted in distilled water before injection into a Metrohm 792 instrument with distilled water to reduce potential background effects of non-ionic components. Cations identified in orange juice and include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, having relative ratios of 1.88:119.6:1:2.2, respectively. For diet coke the cations identified included sodium, ammonium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium having relative amount ratios of 7.84:5.19:14.6:5.41:1, respectively. Potassiumwas the predominant species identified in potassium citrate tablets and calcium is the major ion isolated fromcalciumcarbonate antacid tablets. Potassium is predominant after distilled water extraction of fresh banana, followed by magnesium, calcium, sodium, and ammonium, where the relative amount ratioswere 248.9:25.2:14.7:2.08:1, respectively.Anions discerned in banana included chloride, phosphate, and nitrate. Cations identified in powerade zero included sodium potassium, calcium, and magnesium, while anions included chloride, phosphate, and sulfate. A sample of Gatorade G-2 was analyzed and cations sodium and potassium were predominant, while anions observed included chloride, phosphate, and sulfate. The analysis of food materials by ion chromatography reveal useful information pertaining to the nutritional relevance of specific commercial products.

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