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Homogeneity testing and the determination of minimum sample mass are an important part of the certification of reference materials. The smallest theoretically achievable uncertainty of certified concentration value is limited by the concentration distribution of analyte in the different particle size fractions of powdered biological samples. This might be of special importance if the reference material is prepared by dry mixing, a dilution technique which is used for the production of the new and third generation of genetically modified (GMO) plant certified reference materials. For the production of dry mixed PMON 810 maize reference material a computer program was developed to calculate the theoretically smallest uncertainty for a selected sample intake. This model was used to compare three differently milled maize samples, and the effect of dilution on the uncertainty of the DNA content of GMO maize was estimated as well. In the case of a 50-mg sample mass the lowest achievable standard deviation was 2% for the sample containing 0.1% GMO and the minimum deviation was less than 0.5% for the sample containing 5% GMO.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Vol.370 (2001), pp.935-959
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