Student Research Projects

Quantification of Iron in Fortified Cereals using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Student Britton Hipple, '16
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Chemistry
Course Chemistry 480: Instrumental Methods of Analysis


Generic cereals are just the same as the real brand, just cheaper is an old wives tale that has even been accepted by the manufactures of those generic brands, or National Brand Equivalents (NBE) as there are called. Kellogg promotes the use of their cereals as a daily breakfast because they have recognized the convenience of their product and the ability to use their product to reinforce the public diet. This project investigated the iron fortification that is under strict QAQC procedures from the Food and Drug Administration for the national brand, Kellogg, and their NBE competitors that do not have as strict QAQC procedures. Frosted Flakes from Kellogg, Hospitality, and Great Value brands were randomly purchased and randomly sampled to test for their iron fortification levels. A serving size of each sample (30g) was organically digested with 70% nitric acid and 30% hydrogen peroxide. Each digested sample was run in the Flame Atomic Absorption Unit at a wavelength of 248.3nm using standard additions. The levels of iron fortification present in the cereal was quantified and compared among the brands investigated for equivalence to the national brand and wide variance of levels.