A simple back-extraction method was developed for the separation and preconcentration of trace levels of zinc from different matrices. Ethyl-2-(4-methoxybenzoyl)-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3-oxopropanoylcarbamate (EMPC) was used as a new complexing agent for the extraction of zinc(II) from the aqueous sample phase to the methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) phase as Zn(EMPC)(2) complexes. The Zn(II) can be selectively stripped with 1 mL of 0.5 mol L-1 HCl from Mn+(EMPC)(n) complexes [Ag(I), Al(III), Cd(II), Cr(III), Cu(II), Fe(II), Fe(III), Mn(II), Ni(II), Pb(II) and Pd(II)] which dissolved in MIBK phase. Some experimental parameters, which are important for the whole extraction process, including pH, sample volume, shaking time, amount of the EMPC reagent, amount of MIBK, ionic strength, and type of back-extractant were investigated. The recovery for Zn(II) was greater than 95%. The detection limit of the method was found to be 0.2 mu gL(-1) and the relative standard deviation as 6.4%. The concentrations of Zn(II) in the certified reference materials (LGC6019 river water and NIST-1547 peach leaves) by the presented method were in good agreement with the certified values. The proposed method was succesfully applied to the determination of zinc in some natural waters, rice, hair, soil, and tea samples.