A sensitive colorimetric method for the determination of nitrite in water supplies, meat and dairy products using ionic liquid-modified methyl red as a colour reagent

Food Chemistry
Haijuan ZhangXingguo Chen


This paper describes a colorimetric approach to determine trace amounts of nitrite in water supplies, meat and dairy products using 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium-modified methyl red ([BMIM]MR) as a colour reagent. The technique capitalises on the catalytic effect of nitrite on the oxidative degradation of [BMIM]MR by potassium bromate in acidic media. The absorbances were proportional to nitrite concentrations in the range of 8.70×10(-2) to 4.17 μM with a detection limit of 1.64×10(-2) μM. Compared with the method using methyl red as a colour reagent, 60 times improvement of sensitivity was obtained. Activation energy and the apparent rate constant for the catalytic reaction are 61.11 kJ mol(-1) and 1.18×10(4) s(-1), respectively. The proposed method was successfully applied for the analysis of nitrite in Yellow River water, chicken, and milk with recoveries ranging from 96% to 105%.


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