There are many different types of materials analysis techniques under the broad heading of “spectroscopy”, utilizing a wide variety of different approaches to probing material properties, such as absorbance, reflection, emission, scattering, thermal conductivity, and refractive index. Atomic absorption spectroscopy expert witnesses may opine on atomic absorption technology, as well as related issues. In Atomic Absorption: Feeding the Food Safety Market, Hazel Dickson writes on food safety:
The prominence of food safety in the global analytical community has revealed atomic absorption (AA) as a key player in the analysis of trace elements in foodstuffs. An established technique of several decades, AA is proving to be the technique of choice for those laboratories requiring dedicated analysis on a regular basis. Analytical laboratories inherently demand robust and reliable methodologies and instrumentation. AA offers an ideal solution, providing excellent sensitivity, accuracy, and precision. In addition, advances in automation, through online sample dilution and automated standard preparation, simplify routine tasks and offer increased productivity and sample throughput.
One of the fastest growing markets in food safety is China, mirrored by the continued growth of the Chinese Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Food Safety Law, introduced in China in June 2009, which toughens penalties against manufacturers of mislabeled or tainted food, and has raised the profile of food safety in this region significantly. This has resulted in a noticeable increase in the trace elemental analysis of foodstuffs. China is the world’s largest exporter of fruits and vegetables, with meat, fish, and cereals (such as rice) contributing significantly to the billion-dollar export market.