You are here

Compositional guideline: Bittern

13 July 2021

Name of the ingredient

Bittern (AAN)

Definition of the ingredient

Bittern is an essentially saturated solution of magnesium rich salts remaining after the physical collection of precipitated sodium chloride and less soluble salts including sulphates of magnesium (Epsomite) and some potassium sulfate. Only physical processes including manual removal of salt crystals; natural (solar) heat and/or natural evaporative winds are employed in the production process.

Table 1. Ingredient specific requirements
Test Method reference Acceptance criteria
Appearance Visual An essentially colorless oily / syrupy fluid with a slight opalescence haze. It contains no or only a few visible crystals at 30oC, and is free from other visible inclusions.
Odour Organoleptic Virtually odourless to mild salty note
Taste Organoleptic Strong, deep pungent taste with bitter notes.
pH Calibrated probe, 50% solution 6.0 to 8.0
Specific Gravity Calibrated Instrument 1.250 to 1.325 g/mL
Solubility USP

Very soluble in water

Very soluble in ethanol

Magnesium USP <191> Complies with Identification test A for magnesium
Chlorides USP <191> Complies with Identification test A for Chlorides
Ions Profile USP <233> Matches assay
Assay - Major Ions
Chlorine USP <233> 260,000 to 300,000 ppm
Magnesium USP <233> 89,000 to 101,000 ppm
Assay - Characterising Ions
Sulfur USP <233> 9,500 to 12,500 ppm
Potassium USP <233> 4,500 to 12,000 ppm
Sodium USP <233> 4,500 to 9,000 ppm
Bromine USP <233> 1,500 to 3,000 ppm
Lithium USP <233> 0.5 to 5 ppm
Boron USP <233> Not more than 15 ppm
Zinc USP <233> Not more than 10 ppm
Rubidium USP <233> Not more than 10 ppm
Strontium + Silver + Caesium USP <233> Not more than 3 ppm
Table 2. Incidental constituents
Test Method reference Acceptance criteria
Incidental metals and non-metals
Calcium USP <233> Not more than 200 ppm
Silicon USP <233> Not more than 30 ppm
Aluminium USP <233> Not more than 30 ppm
Manganese USP <233> Not more than 30 ppm
Iron USP <233> Not more than 30 ppm
Nickel USP <233> Not more than 3 ppm
Mercury USP <233> Not more than 3 ppm
Barium USP <233> Not more than 2 ppm
Arsenic USP <233> Not more than 1.5 ppm
Cadmium USP <233> Not more than 0.5 ppm
Lead USP <233> Not more than 0.5 ppm
Thallium USP <233> Not more than 100 ppb
Uranium USP <233> Not more than 100 ppb
Pesticide residues and environmental contaminants
Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides Residues
(see notes for list of included substances)
Ph Eur method 2.8.13 or equivalent Complies
Notes: Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides Residues to include: Aldrin, alpha-BHC, alpha-Endosulfan, Atrazine, Azinphos ethyl, Azinphos methyl, beta-BHC, beta-Endosulfan, Bifenthrin, Bioresmethrin, Bromophos ethyl, Bupirimate, Buprofezin, Carbaryl, Carbophenothion, Chlorfenvinphos (E), Chlorfenvinphos (Z), Chlorothalonil, Chlorpyrifos, Chlorpyrifos methyl, cis-Chlordane, Coumaphos, Cyfluthrin, Cyhalothrin, Cypermethrin, Cyprodinil, delta-BHC, Deltamethrin, Demeton-S-methyl, Diazinon, Dichlofluanid, Dichlorvos, Dicloran, Dicofol, Dieldrin, Difenoconazole, Dimethoate, Dimethomorph, Dioxathion, Diphenylamine, Diuron, Endosulfan sulfate, Endrin, Endrin aldehyde, Endrin ketone, Ethion, Fenamiphos, Fenarimol, Fenchlorphos, Fenitrothion, Fenoxycarb, Fenthion, Fenvalerate, Flumethrin, Flusilazole, Formothion, gamma-BHC (Lindane), HCB, Heptachlor, Heptachlor epoxide, Hexaconazole, Hexazinone, Imazalil, Iprodione, Linuron, Malathion, Metalaxyl, Methacrifos, Methidathion, Methoprene, Methoxychlor, Metolachlor, Mevinphos, Molinate, o-Phenylphenol, Oxychlordane, Oxyfluorfen, p,p-DD, p,p-DDE, p,p-DDT, Parathion (ethyl), Parathion methyl, Penconazole, Pendimethalin, Permethrin, Phenothrin, Phorate, Phosalone, Piperonyl butoxide, Pirimicarb, Pirimiphos ethyl, Pirimiphos methyl, Prochloraz Procymidone, Profenophos, Propargite, Propiconazole I, Propiconazole II, Prothiofos, Pyrimethanil, Simazine, Tebuconazole, Tebufenpyrad, Tetradifon, Thiometon, trans-Chlordane, Triazophos, Trifluralin, Vinclozolin
Other organic or inorganic impurities or toxins
Caesium 134 High Resolution gamma ray spectrometry Not more than 2Bq/kg
Caesium 137 High Resolution gamma ray spectrometry Not more than 2Bq/kg
Ruthenium-103 High Resolution gamma ray spectrometry Not more than 2Bq/kg

Key to abbreviations

BP = British Pharmacopoeia

HPLC = High-pressure liquid chromatography

IR = Infrared spectrophotometry

PCBs = Polychlorinated biphenyls

Ph Eur = European Pharmacopoeia

USP = United States Pharmacopoeia

ICP-OES = Inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry

ICP-MS = Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry