Although much analysis can be done using the peak-area data from the Itrax, it may be desirable to attempt to fully quantify the data. Because of the variability typically encountered in palaeoenvironmental work a “fundamental parameters” type approach is not often possible, although there is some functionality for this in the
Q-Spec software on the instrument.
Rather, an empirical approach is usually required, whereby some subset of the material is sampled and a relationship (calibration curve) is calculated for analytes of interest. An empirical approach also has the benefit of being able to estimate the uncertainties of the calibration.