Sustainable method development for detection of chemical hazards in concentrated food matrices as a base for the interdisciplinary research network development

Duration of the project

01.02.2021. - 30.10.2021.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Kaunas University of Technology
Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme (IKTS)
University of Latvia

Project Manager

Dr. Alvija Šalaševičienė

Project goals

Aim of this project is to strengthen a research network with highly complementary competences in powders and coating development for food matrices, characterization of chemical food hazards and validation of novel testing. The research network seeks to develop sustainable, simplified and sensitive method involving flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (further – flame AAS) to detect chemical hazards (Co, Ni, Cr) in food matrices from thermal spray coating solutions, which are applied to the equipment parts for wear protection.

The flame AAS is one of the most convenient, least expensive and widely used elemental analysis, but the sensitivity of spectral analysis can vary greatly, depending on the type of atomizer, e.g. with flame AAS being around a million times less sensitive than inductively coupled plasma spectrometers and about a thousand times less sensitive than graphite furnace spectrometers.

To overcome the lower sensitivity of the flame AAS, artificially contaminated food analytes from thermal spray coating will be concentrated using a deep vacuum evaporator. The reliability of the developed analytical methods will be studied, comparing the flame AAS with graphite furnace AAS, inductively coupled plasma with optical emission detection (ICP-OES) and total reflection X-Ray fluorescence (TXRF) measurements.

Main activities and venues

  1. Preparation of coated specimen by thermal spraying coating to further trace element detection experiments in food matrices. Venue: Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS, Germany.
  2. Research developing analytical solutions to get the highest sensitivity for the flame AAS when concentrating contaminated food matrices. Venue: Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania.
  3. Validation of the novel sensitivity solution for the flame AAS by other reliable trace element measurement techniques, such as graphite furnace AAS, ICP-OES and TXRF. Venue: University of Latvia, Latvia.
  4. Research project results dissemination: booklets, posters and international online workshop. Venue: Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania.

Public events

Online international workshop to present results for students, academia and governmental bodies in Lithuania, Latvia and Germany:

Venue: online.

Date: 2021-10-27

Speakers: Māris Kļaviņš, Andrius Jaskūnas, Lutz-Michael Berger, Gitana Alenčikienė, Alvija Šalaševičienė.

Direct and indirect target group


The research network: researchers from Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, University of Latvia, Latvia and Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS, Germany.

Researchers, postdocs and students in Baltic states – 40.



Statutory organizations such as:

Ministry of Agriculture and State Food and veterinary service, Lithuania – 2.

Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environmental protection and regional development, Latvia – 2.

Industrial business units, companies dealing with aggressive food matrices and environment, Lithuania – 30.

Industrial Research organizations – 2, and 40 members of the Technical Committee 2 of the German Welding Association.