Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 19(11), 1473 (2003).

A Disposable Voltammetric Cell for Determining the Titratable Acidity in Vinegar
Akira KOTANI, Yuji MIYAGUCHI, Dai HARADA, and Fumiyo KUSU 
School of Pharmacy, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, 1432-1 Horinouchi, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0392, Japan
A disposable voltammetric cell using three pencil leads as working, reference, and counter electrodes was developed for determining the titratable acidity, i.e. the acid content in vinegar. The materials of the pencil leads were graphitereinforcement carbons (GRCs). A voltammetric determination of acid was made by measuring the reduction prepeak current of 3,5-di-t-butyl-1,2-benzoquinone (DBBQ) due to the presence of acids in unbuffered solution. The potential stability of the pseudo-reference electrode of GRC was examined. The prepeak current was found to be proportional to the acetic acid concentration from 0.05 to 2.7 mM with a correlation coefficient of 0.999. The cell-to-cell reproducibility for 1 mM acetic acid was evaluated with ten individual disposable cells. The RSD of the prepeak current and the SD of the prepeak potential were 2.56% and 0.008, respectively. The titratable acidity in five vinegar samples was determined by voltammetry using disposable cells and compared with that of the titratable acidity determined by the conventional potentiometric titration method. We then observed the results by both methods, and found a correlation coefficient of 0.972. As such, the voltammetry using disposable-cell required only one thousandth the volume of a vinegar sample for the titration method. The disposable cell was superior to the conventional electrochemical cell, in terms of facility, environment-friendly, and economy, and thus a sensor using the present cell would be useful for routine work in the quality control of vinegar.