A method for simultaneous determination of trace levels of Cd(II), Cu(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) in food additives by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry ( ICP–AES ) after soluble membrane filter pre-concentration was developed. Based on collection of the chelates of metal ions(II) with 2-(5-bromo-2-pyridylazo)-5- diethylaminophenol ( 5-Br-PADAP ) on soluble membrane filter, the analyte ions were pre-concentrated and separated from sample matrix solutions. Multi-channel membrane filter device and soluble mixed cellulose ester membrane were selected. Analytical parameters such as pH, amount of 5-Br-PADAP, sample volume, etc. were optimized. Under the matrix of Na+, K+ and Mg2+, the limits of detection were 0.02 – 0.03, 0.14 – 0.23, 0.31 – 0.53, 0.10 – 0.15 μg L-1 for Cd(II), Cu(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) respectively. The developed method was successfully applied to sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and basic magnesium carbonate with spiked recoveries of 94% – 115%. Some sample analysis results were checked by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry ( ICP–MS ) directly.