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  • 1 National Tsing Hua University Nuclear Science and Technology Development Center Hsinchu Taiwan, R.O.C.
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Tea has been one of the most popular simulating beverages which is both heavily produced and consumed in Taiwan. The determination of minor or trace elements in drinking tea and tea leaves is therefore important for estimating the daily intake of Taiwanese considered as a safety indicator. In order to accurately and precisely determine the concentrations of trace elements in samples, several analytical methods such as AAS, NAA and ICP-AES are suggested. This paper attempts to utilize all three methods to determine the concentrations of minor or trace elements in different types of tea leaves and the extracts percolated from them. The influence of fermentation processes on the concentration levels of minor or trace elements in tea samples is investigated. Because only free metal ions are bioavailable for the human body, it is necessary to determine their concentrations in drinking tea. The dissolution of trace elements in drinking tea is therefore studied by simulating the common Chinese style of tea percolation. Concentrations of thirteen elements including Zn, Mn, Ca, Cu, Ni, Al, K, Mg, Cd, Pb, Na, Co and Sc are determined.