In analytical chemistry, ashing is the process of mineralization for preconcentration of trace substances prior to chemical analysis.[1] Ash is the name given to all non-aqueous residue that remains after a sample is burned, which consists mostly of metal oxides.

Ash is one of the components in the proximate analysis of biological materials, consisting mainly of salty, inorganic constituents. It includes metal salts which are important for processes requiring ions such as Na+ (Sodium), K+ (Potassium), and Ca2+ (Calcium). It also includes trace minerals which are required for unique molecules, such as chlorophyll and hemoglobin.


For instance, the analysis of honey shows:[2]

Typical honey analysis

In this example the ash would include all the minerals in honey.

See alsoEdit


  1. IUPAC, Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Au Book") (1997). Online corrected version:  (2006–) "ashing".
  2. Sugar Alliance
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