The levels of trace elements in different types of food material consumed in Turkey were determined by flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Food samples were digested with dry ashing, wet ashing and microwave digestion procedures in this study. The microwave digestion procedure was chosen for the digestion of all the food samples because it required shorter time and made higher recovery (specially for Se). Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Al and Se were determined by flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, respectively. Relative standard deviations (RSD) were found below 10%. The accuracy of the procedure was confirmed by certified reference materials. Moreover, this procedure was easier to use when compared with dry and wet digestions. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.