Article Title

Determination of fluoride in tea leaves and tea infusions by ion selective electrode


A fluoride ion selective electrode method for the determination of fluoride contents in tea leaves and tea infusions was set up. Using commercial timothy grass powder and tea leaf powder as standard materials, this method demonstrated linearity between 0.02 and 2.00 mg/L of fluoride with R2 greater than 0.999. Both materials had coefficient of variations (CV, %) less than 3%, indicating good reproducibility in the determinations. The recovery tests of tea infusions spiked with different amounts of sodium fluoride demonstrated 94-107% of recovery with CV less than 1.2%, indicating that the method is very accurate. With 1% of tea leaves to boiling water ratio, up to 63-78% of fluoride in tea leaves could be released into tea infusion by repeated infusions and 82-83% by continuous infusion. By this method, total fluoride contents of 12 brands of tea leaves purchased from Nantou County were determined to be 100-451 mg/kg dry weight, and those of their infusions in boiling water for a 5-min period were determined to be 0.39-1.21 mg/L. Assuming that daily tea infusions drinking for an adult is 2 L, fluoride intake from tea infusions of these tea leaves is far below the daily fluoride tolerable upper limit 10 mg.

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