An ion-chromatographic method combined with electrochemical detection at a copper-based chemically modified glassy carbon electrode (Cu-GC) has been shown to provide a simple analytical approach for the determination of some common organic acids in alkaline medium. Under the optimized isocratic chromatographic conditions (i.e. 0.1 M NaOH plus 80 mM CH3COONa), organic acids such as gallic, ascorbic, gluconic, lactobionic, galacturonic and glucuronic acid could be separated in less than 20 min. Under constant potential amperometric detection (i.e. 0.55 V vs. Ag-AgCl) the Cu-GC modified electrode allowed detection limits between 2 and 5 pmol for all investigated organic acids while the linear dynamic range spanned generally over three orders of magnitude. Examples of applications included the separation and quantitation of some common organic acids in vinegar, honey and tea samples, are given.
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