This Update covers publications from the second half of 2017 to the middle of 2018. Techniques and applications relevant to clinical and biological materials, foods and beverages are discussed in the text, presenting key aspects of the work referenced, while the tables provide a summary of the publications considered. Original approaches to sample extraction reported include using deep eutectic solvents, protonated triethylamine carbonate which converts to the immiscible triethylamine by addition of NaOH, a switchable hydrophilic solvent and new solid phase materials. The ingenuity of analytical scientists is illustrated by the development of an apparatus for sequential determination of Cd and Hg in foods by VG-AFS. Different parts of the equipment perform sample destruction, separation of Cd from Hg, vaporisation, trapping, volatilisation and measurement. Other new devices include a microwave plasma torch linear ion trap mass spectrometer suitable for field analysis of water and tandem LA-LIBS with ICP-MS. Various applications with single particle or single cell ICP-MS, particularly associated with nanoparticles, follow from work we have included in our recent Updates. Growing interest in clinical exposure to Gd is noted while work relating to Cu metabolism in Wilson’s disease provides new information for a disorder that has already been studied for many decades. Following from new food safety regulations, concentrations of Cd in cocoa are being investigated. Higher concentrations are seen in S American products although, having been consumed for centuries, whether or not there is any harm seems questionable. Encouraging for those who enjoy caviar is a study suggesting that samples from the polluted Caspian Sea may not contain high concentrations of toxic elements.