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  • Author or Editor: L. McDowell x
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Abstract  

The selenium content of a variety of food items representing a normal hospital diet has been determined by cyclic instrumental neutron activation analysis (CINAA) through the 162-keV gamma-ray of the77mSe nuclide. The CINAA method is very simple and rapid. It involves irradiation of a sample for 20 s, decay for 20 s, and counting for 20 s. The precision of the method has been significantly improved by recycling the samples up to 4 times. The accuracy has been evaluated by analyzing a number of certified reference materials of varied selenium levels.

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Abstract  

The homogeneity of four reference materials was evaluated for Se by cyclic instrumental neutron activation analysis (CINAA). The relative standard deviation for Se measurements at ppb levels by CINAA was <12% for NIST Wheat Flour (SRM 1567) in 5–10 mg samples, while it was <11% for Chinese Hair (HH–CH-1), <13% for IAEA Animal Muscle (H-4) and 25% for IAEA Animal Blood (A-13) in 50 mg samples. The highest relative subsampling uncertainties were observed in the mass range of samples 50 mg for Chinese Hair, 100 mg for Wheat Flour and Animal Muscle and 300 mg for Animal Blood. The results of a one-way analysis of variance indicate that all reference materials above these mass ranges are adequately homogeneous with respect to Se distribution. Our data suggest that these materials, except Animal Blood, can be used as reference standards for Se in Quality assurance programs well below the sample masses re commended by the issuing agencies.

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A study was conducted on the sheep farm of the Livestock Experimental Station, located in the southwestern Punjab, Pakistan, to determine the copper nutrition status of different classes of grazing sheep during two different seasons. A complete free-choice supplement (feed) was available to all animals throughout the year. The purpose of this research was to investigate, as a function of the seasons, the transfer of Cu from soil, and dietary factors to sheep grazing in this semiarid region, in order to evaluate if the Cu requirement of grazing livestock was met or if a deficiency occurred. The final goal was to maximize the production of the animals by adopting, if necessary, adequate, balanced Cu supplementation. Soil, forage, feed and water samples, and animal samples (plasma, milk, faeces and urine from lactating ewes, plasma, faeces and urine from non-lactating ewes and plasma and faeces from male animals) were taken eight times during the year (four times in each season). Soil copper was affected by the seasonal changes and sampling intervals and was significantly higher than plant needs during both seasons, while the forage copper level did not show significant seasonal fluctuations, but was only affected by the sampling intervals. The soil and forage Cu was sufficient for the requirements of the plants and the animals grazing there on during both seasons. The copper contents of the feed and water showed no seasonal or sampling interval fluctuations. The plasma Cu was affected by seasonal variations in non-lactating ewes and in rams and by sampling intervals in the lactating ewes. Faecal and urine Cu was not affected by seasonal or sampling intervals except in non-lactating ewes, where the sampling interval had a pronounced effect on faecal Cu, while milk Cu in lactating ewes was affected by seasonal changes only. In all classes of sheep plasma Cu was higher during the winter than during the summer and remained in the normal range for ruminants during both seasons. It is concluded that a mixture with high bioavailability, containing Cu, should be continuously provided to grazing sheep in this semi-arid region in order to maintain the normal level of Cu and maximize the production potential of ruminants.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis (NAA) methods have been developed for the determination of major, minor and trace elements in duplicate diets and individual food items. These include a cyclic instrumental NAA (CINAA) method for measuring Se content through its short-lived nuclide77mSe; epithermal INAA (EINAA) for I and As; conventional INAA for Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sn and Zn; combination of EINAA and INAA for Al; radiochemical NAA (RNAA) for As, Au, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mo, Sb, Se and Zn; and preconcentration NAA (PNAA) for U and Th. Accuracy of measurements have been evaluated by analyzing a number of biological and diet reference materials. Multielement concentrations of diets and foods have been measured by these methods.

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