A Critical Look at the Recovery Method as a Way for Evaluation of Analytical Accuracy

Paweł Kościelniak and Renata Wietecha Department of Analytical Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, 30-060 Krakow, Poland


The recovery method is critically discussed with respect to its ability to evaluate the accuracy of analytical results. This feature has been brought into question on the basis of theoretical consideration and then it has been experimentally verified on the example of the determination of selenium in whole blood by the atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The analytical procedure was tested in various experimental conditions in order to estimate both the recovery and the concentration of selenium in the samples examined. The accuracy of the analytical results obtained in optimum experimental conditions has been checked with the use of a reference material. It has been proved that the analyte concentration estimated in the sample can be inaccurate in spite of the recovery found to be complete, and inversely.

Keywords: Recovery method; Atomic fluorescence spectrometry; Blood analysis