black pepper adulteration (2)

3817388095?profile=RESIZE_710xAlthough infrared (IR) spectroscopy is often used as a simple and rapid method to screen for economically motivated adulteration in spices, conventional microscopy remains the reference method. In this research, micro-FTIR imaging, along with PCA (Principle Component Analysis) were used in combination with microscopy to develop a non-targeted method for detecting a broad range of organic and mineral bulking agents that could potentially be used to adulterate black pepper. The method has been validated, and the results are classed as typical or atypical, where the latter indicates a high probablity of adulteration, and is followed up with a multitool investigational approach for the detection and identification of the potential adulterant.

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Black pepper is one of the most valued spices in the world, and hence is susceptible to adulteration. A common adulterant is black papaya seeds. Researchers in Peru and Brazil have investigated the potential of near infrared hyperspectral imaging (NIR-HSI) combined with multivariate analysis to identify black pepper adulterated with papaya seeds. SIMCA (soft independent modelling of class analogy) allowed classification with 100% sensitivity between berry black pepper and berry papaya seeds. A PLS (partial least squares) reduced model based on 7 wavelengths presented higher predictive capability, and the maps from this model successfully showed the distribution of ground papaya seeds in ground black pepper.

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