SSICA relies on ultraWAVE to improve the digestion quality of large food sample amounts

Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry (SSICA)


Thanks to its specialized staff and cutting-edge laboratories, SSICA is one of the most important applied research bodies in the preserved food sector in Europe and participates in national and international research projects for new products, new processing and preservation procedures. The main focus of their work is to develop and propose new methods in order to solve challenges that manufacturers have faced in food matrices when dealing with high quality analysis and food safety issues.


The number of samples analyzed in the laboratory can vary depending on the nature of the project. At peak times, they can be required to prepare up to 50 samples per day.
Prior to the acquisition of the first ultraWAVE in 2015, they were using hot-block digestion systems. They weighed the sample in an open digestion vessel and started the run under a fume hood. The main challenge with this approach was the long time required for achieving digestion. Moreover, for complex matrices, the final solutions often presented a high residual carbon content which interfered with their ICP-MS analyses.
To overcome the issues related to excess residual carbon content, the quality of their sample digestions needed to be greatly improved. This was true especially for reactive samples such as oil, cheese and other high fat content samples that led to various problems in obtaining low blanks.
The ultraWAVE is unique and we decided to purchase it since it is the highest performing microwave digestion system on the market.
SSICA Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry
  • Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry (SSICA)


“The first reason for choosing the ultraWAVE system was that we were now able to completely digest all sample types with low residual acidity, low carbon content and low concentration of dissolved solids.”
Consequently, the formation of polyatomic spectral interferences is limited, thus improving the ICP’s stability and reducing carbon buildup in the sample introduction and interface regions.
Thanks to its unique high temperature and pressure capabilities, the ultraWAVE achieved complete digestion of all their sample types, even of reactive samples and large sample amounts, such as 1 g of edible oil using diluted acids.
The ultraWAVE ensures high digestion quality even with low acid volume, which reduces the dilution factors and the blanks, ensuring greater performance of the ICP-MS.
“With the ultraWAVE, any combination of sample types and weights with different acid chemistries can be digested in the same run. This is a real plus for us since we always receive many food samples with different matrices. With the ultraWAVE, we are now able to digest all these samples in one shot!”


The ultraWAVE is based on the SRC (Single Reaction Chamber) technology, that achieves extraordinary performance capabilities combining microwave heating with a high-pressure reactor which acts simultaneously as microwave cavity and vessel.

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"We are 100% satisfied with the system and we would never go back to hot-block techniques."
Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry (SSICA)