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Fresenius J Anal Chem. 2001 Jun;370(2-3):189-93.

Water as a source of errors in reference materials.

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European Commission-Joint Research Centre-Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, Geel, Belgium.


In the field of reference materials, long-term stability is of highest importance. Particularly for biological matrices, any kind of deterioration must be avoided during shelf-life. In the production precautions are taken to prevent these, but possible alterations caused by intensive drying have been underestimated until today. This presentation discusses several mechanisms of deterioration related to water activity and water content. Comparison of the results for water and moisture for six reference materials and their water sorption isotherms serve as a base to discuss the importance of accurate dry mass corrections for certified values. It is shown that the method chosen for dry mass correction influences certified contents significantly and a method description must be given. Furthermore, it is confirmed that for biological matrices optimal ranges of water activity and water content exist, where hygroscopicity is low without significant danger of product deterioration. Additionally, handling is facilitated in the optimised ranges.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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