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sira (8)

Analytical methods for authenticity testing of organically grown vegetables are urgently needed. Danish researchers have developed a novel assay for organic authentication based on stable isotope ratio analysis (SIRA) of oxygen in plant-derived sulphate. This method was compared with SIRA of bulk plant tissue and plant-derived nitrate to discriminate organic and conventionally grown potato, carrot, and cabbage from rigidly controlled long-term field trials and from a case study using retail potatoes. The results indicated that oxygen isotope ratios of sulphate from organic vegetables were significantly lower compared to their conventionally grown counterparts, and the values were directly linked to the fertilisation strategy. The classification power of sulphate isotope analysis was superior compared to known bulk tissue isotope markers and nitrate isotope values, and hence represents a promising new method for authentication of organic vegetables.

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Mozzarella di Bufala Campana (MBC) is a PDO cheese produced from whole buffalo milk in specific regions of southern Italy. Due to the high price and the limited amount of buffalo milk, MBC is potentially subject to mislabelling, substitution or fraud. Italian researchers have used elemental and isotopic profiles of authentic samples of buffalo milk and the corresponding MBC samples collected in the reference area in winter and summer in an initial exploratory study. A model was developed to classify product categories for this cheese by merging MBC-PDO samples with non-PDO samples of buffalo mozzarella produced both inside and outside the reference area. Despite differences caused during processing, along with differences in the season and production area, the model was effective in distinguishing PDO and non-PDO mozzarella, particularly when non-PDO cheeses were made outside the MBC reference area.

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As the European Union has committed to only accept authenticated “sustainably sourced” palm oils, it is important to ensure that such imported oils are really from the declared source, preferably via proven analytical methods. This full review looks at the legal requirements for the traceability and authentication of palm oil, and assesses some new and emerging chemically-based technologies that should contribute to improving the monitoring of palm oil and other vegetable oil supply chains in Europe and elsewhere. 

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This book covers the science of stable isotope measurement, sample preparation and testing of biological and geological elements. It also covers using isotopes for verification of origin and authenticity of plant based foods, fruits and vegetables, flesh foods, dairy products, vegetable oils, organic foods, alcoholic beverages, and some other miscellaneous foods. It brings the reader up to date with the latest developments in this area.

The contents and first couple of chapters can be found at: Food Forensics: Stable Isotopes as a Guide to Authenticity and Origin

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Italian researchers have measured the H, C, N and O isotopic ratios of 190 samples of different soft fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and whitecurrants, redcurrants and blackcurrants) produced in a northern Italian region and at two sites in Romania and Poland collected over three harvest years. The different soft fruits showed a typical range for one or more isotopic parameters that can be used to verify the authenticity of the fruit species declared on the label. The δ13C and δ15N of pulp and the δ18O of juice can be considered effective tools for identifying the different geographical origin of fruit. There was a significant effect of crop cover on juice δ18O, and fertilisation practices on pulp δ15N.

Read the abstract at: SIRA of soft fruit

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This study examines the variations in isotopes and trace elements in relation to grape variety, environmental factors and provenance in order to address the wine authenticity in Cyprus. ICP-AES assessed the wines’ elemental content. SNIF-NMR and isotope ratio mass spectrometry methodologies determined in authentic and commercial wines the distribution of the naturally occurring stable isotopes of the deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) ratios and carbon (13/12C) in ethanol of wine and oxygen ratio (18/16O) in wine water. PCA (principle component analysis) highlighted the importance of grape variety and provenance, while supervised analysis pinpointed the vineyard effect and highlighted the contribution of the vintage year. These results can be incorporated to the EU Wine Isotopic Databank database providing both a guide and a tool for eventual candidatures for denomination of origin and support both Cypriot wine and winemakers. 

Read the abstract at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12161-017-0959-2
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This paper reviews the use of SIRA of biological isotopes (H, C, O, N, S) in determining geographical origin for meat, poultry and dairy products, and production origin for seafood (wild or farmed). 

Read the full paper at : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1541-4337.12219/full

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A study has been completed to look at the ratio of stable isotopes of  δ18O, (D/H)I, (D/H)II, δ13C, δ15N and 87Sr/86Sr moving from the soil, through the cultivation of grapes and their preparation at different stages into wine.  The isotopic ratio of 87Sr/86Sr does not vary significantly from grape to wine, and δ15N has been proposed as further isotopic marker for the geographical characterisation of grape products.

The paper in Food Chemistry by Caterina Durante et al is in press, but the abstract can be read at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814616306318

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