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Measurement of Sodium
and Potassium in Dried Milk 

Dried milk is dissolved in warm water. 


The test solutions and reference solutions are measured directly following dilution with deionised distilled water.   



  1. Thoroughly clean and rinse all glassware with deionised distilled water prior
    to use. It is recommended that polyethylene is used to ensure that sodium does not plate out onto glassware, unless glassware requires heat treatment.

  2.  The sample should be weighed to nearest 1mg; 1.25g of test sample was weighed for analysis. 

  3. Transfer test sample to 50ml glass beaker and dissolve in approximately
    20ml warm deionised water (40º - 50ºC), alternately a steam bath can be used to heat the sample and deionised water to ensure dissolution into the solvent. 

  4. Quantitatively transfer contents of beaker to 500mL volumetric flask, cool to 20ºC and dilute to volume. Mix thoroughly via inversion.

  5. Aspirate solutions into flame, beginning with standard having the lowest concentration. Using dried typical whole milk, this solution contains approximately 10mg/l sodium and 40mg/l potassium. 


The results will not be reliable if this solution contains insoluble particles. If insoluble particulate matter is present in the sample, filter the sample through Whatman No.40 filter paper. The filter paper should be weighed on an analytical balance prior to filtration, and then the solution filtered and the paper dried in an oven at low temperature then reweighed and the difference calculated between the pre and post filter paper. This should then be accounted for when calculating concentrations by weight.


Preparation of Standard Graph

Set the flame photometer in accordance to MultiPoint/Single Ion Calibration found on page 24 of the BWB Technologies Installation and Operation Manual, to measure potassium emission. Nebulise the working standard solutions and adjust the controls until steady zero and maximum readings are obtained. Nebulise the intermediate working standard solutions and construct a graph relating raw emission data (known as RAW in  BWB the flame photometer) to concentration of all the standard solutions.

1 AOAC International, ‘AOAC Official Method 990.23: Sodium and Potassium in Dried Milk’, AOAC International (2008), 33.5.12.

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