Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) was used to determine simultaneously the concentration of Cu, Fe and Zn in seven
sugar-cane spirit samples (“aguardente”), a processed alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation and distillation of sugar-cane
juice. The limits of detection ranged from 35 to 8 ng.ml-1 for V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As and Se. Excluding Fe, Cu and Zn, the concentrations were below their limits. Two samples
showed Cu concentrations higher than the value allowed by Brazilian legislation (5 µg.ml-1), and concerning Fe and Zn, no sample were above the limits permitted by WHO for drinking water (2 and 3 µg.ml-1, respectively).