Two sample preparation methods were modified and optimized for the determination of As, Cu, Fe, and Pb in white sugar using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). Analyses were carried out using hydride generation AAS (HG-AAS) for As and flame AAS (FAAS) for Cu, Fe, and Pb. White sugar samples were prepared by dry ashing of the samples with H2SO4 and Mg(NO3)(2). Recoveries for As, Cu, Fe, and Pb were 87.6, 92.8, 95.8, 91.1% respectively, in ashing with H2SO4 They were 95.1, 92.4, 97.4, and 91.1%, respectively, in ashing with Mg(NO3)(2) . 6H(2)O. When small quantities,of spikes were used, 94.7 and 95.3% recoveries of arsenic were found for the procedures applying H2SO4 and Mg(NO3)(2), respectively.