A sensitive and simple method for simultaneous preconcentration of trace heavy metal ions in some food samples has been reported. The method is based on the adsorption of Cr(3+), Fe(3+), Cu(2+), Ni(2+), Co(2+) and Zn(2+) on bis(2-hydroxy acetophenone)ethylendiimine (BHAPED) loaded on activated carbon (AC). The adsorbed metals on activated carbon were eluted using 2 mol L(-1) nitric acid in acetone. The influences of the analytical parameters including pH and sample volume were investigated. The effects of matrix ions on the recoveries of analyte ions were also investigated. The recoveries of analytes were generally higher than 94%. The method has been successfully applied for analysis of the metal contents in real samples including natural water samples. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.