A progressive electrochemical sensor for food quality control: Reliable determination of theobromine in chocolate products using a miniaturized boron-doped diamond electrode

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Abstract

In the present paper, a miniaturized boron-doped diamond electrode (BDDE) is proposed as a progressive electrochemical sensor for simple, fast and reliable quantification of dimethylxanthine alkaloid, theobromine (TB). Using cyclic voltammetry, the studied xanthine provided one well-shaped, irreversible and diffusion-controlled oxidation peak at relatively high potentials (+1.2 V vs. Ag/AgCl/3 M KCl reference electrode) in the presence of 0.1 M H2SO4. After selection of suitable experimental conditions, the linear calibration curves for TB were obtained in the concentration range from 0.99 up to 54.5 μM with the sensitivity of 0.07 μA/μM providing both differential pulse (DPV) and square-wave voltammetric (SWV) techniques, respectively. The elaborated voltammetric protocol yielded low detection limits of 0.42 and 0.51 μM accompanied by adequate intra-day repeatability (relative standard deviation of 2.5 and 1.7%) using DPV and SWV procedure, respectively. The interference study revealed the reasonable selectivity when taking the target food samples into account. The practical applicability of the voltammetric protocol using a miniaturized BDDE was verified in the analysis of six commercially available brands of chocolate products with the determined mass percentages of TB ranging from 0.75 to 2.24% and from 0.69 to 2.15% using DPV and SWV procedure, respectively. The obtained results were also in a good agreement with those achieved by reference titration method with potentiometric indication. The progressive electrochemical sensor based on a miniaturized BDDE has appeared to be an attractive candidate for practical applications in food quality control. Besides, the proposed voltammetric protocol presents advantages when compared to others techniques (e.g. chromatography), concerning simplicity, cost, speed of analysis, waste generation (environmentally friendly) and samples pretreatment (only dilution in electrolyte solution prior to analysis).

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Švorc, Ľ., Haššo, M., Sarakhman, O., Kianičková, K., Stanković, D. M., & Otřísal, P. (2018). A progressive electrochemical sensor for food quality control: Reliable determination of theobromine in chocolate products using a miniaturized boron-doped diamond electrode. Microchemical Journal, 142, 297–304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.microc.2018.07.007

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