Lettuce is worldwide known as the most important vegetable. In this context, most farmers are searching new techniques for best quality products including hydropony. However, nitrate is of great concern, since it has a negative impact on human metabolism. The main objective of the present work was to evaluate the nitrate content of lettuce produced by conventional and hydroponic systems. The determination was conducted by ion chromatography and a new method of extraction was tested using microwave oven digestion. The results indicated that nitrate level produced in the conventional system was lower than in the hydroponic system.