The present paper proposes a preconcentration procedure for phosphorus determination by using ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer. It is based on the formation of phosphomolybdate and its reduction to molybdenum blue. Phosphorus extraction as phosphomolybdenum blue complex was performed onto Amberlite XAD-4. The optimization step was carried out using two-level full factorial design. Three variables (resin amount, sample volume, flow rate) were regarded as factors in the optimization. The relative standard deviation was 2% at 0.08 mu g mL(-1). The limit of detection was found to be 2.23 mu g L(-1) (N = 15). The proposed solid-phase extraction procedure was applied to phosphorus in some fruit leaves, natural waters, and a standard reference material (SRM 1515 apple leaves). (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.