Food Production
    Food Adulteration
    Food Provenance

Food Authenticity

As the supply chains that deliver food stuffs to our doors grow ever more complex, bringing incredible choice to consumers, so it becomes more difficult to ensure that we can trust those foods. Stable isotope analysis is a technique which can detect fraudulent adulteration or mislabelling of premium and protected foods. Looking at the unique isotope signature can accurately determine the true origin of a food stuff, guaranteeing the safety of the public as well as the future of these specialist and traditional foods that deserve our protection.

With the same stable isotope techniques the flavourings industry improves the protection of its products through multi-elemental isotopic fingerprinting to ensure that their products can be distinguished from their fraudulent counterparts. Stable isotope analysis can also be used to confirm the use of organic farming practices, or the addition of cheaper additives to a premium product, ultimately protecting both the consumer, and the reputation of genuine suppliers.

Fruits, Vegetables, Meats

Multi-elemental isotope analysis is able to bring a great deal of information about geographical origin and possible adulterations of premium food stuffs. Our high performance range of elemental analyzers for stable isotope analysis (EA-IRMS) can rapidly analyse your samples thanks to our unique Advanced Purge and Trap (APT) technology which gives unbeatable gas separation, and with a 10 year limited furnace warranty you can depend on our instruments. 

Wines & Fruit Juices

Wines command a great premium depending on their geographic origin, or appellation as more commonly known. Fruit juice with no added water is preferential to juice from concentrate. To detect this, 18O and 2H isotope analysis allows the sample to be directly related to the origin thanks to the natural meteorological variation of the water in the source environment. Our iso FLOW system provides exceptional, high throughput analysis of these samples.


Honey is one of the top 5 most globally adulterated food stuffs and stable isotope analysis can help detect this adulteration. Our EA-IRMS systems allow customers to run method AOAC 998.12 for rapid detection of C4 sugar adulteration of honey. Our LC-IRMS systems allow even more sophisticated adulterations of C3 sugars to the honey by performing compound specific isotope analysis of the intrinsic fructose, glucose and higher sugars.

Food & Flavor publications using our instruments

Our customers use our instruments to do some amazing research in the food & flavor application field. To show you how they perform their research and how they use our IRMS instruments, we have collected a range of peer-reviewed publications which cite our products. You can find the citations below and then follow the links to the publishing journal should you wish to download the publication.

If you would like to investigate our available citations in more detail, or email the citation list to yourself or your colleagues then take a look at our full citation database.

63 results:

Authenticity of carbon dioxide bubbles in French ciders through multiflow-isotope ratio mass spectrometry measurements
Food Chemistry (2013)
Laetitia Gaillard, Francois Guyon, Marie Helene Salagoity, Bernard Medina

A procedure to detect whether carbon dioxide was added to French ciders has been developed. For this purpose, an optimised and simplified method is proposed to determine 13C/12C isotope ratio of carbon dioxide (d13C) in ciders. Three critical steps were checked: (1) influence of atmospheric CO2 remaining in the loaded vial, (2) impact of helium flush, (3) sampling speed. This study showed that atmospheric CO2 does not impact the measurement, that helium flush can lead to isotopic fractionation and finally, that a fractionation occurs only 5 h after bottle opening. The method, without any other preparation, consists in sampling 0.2 mL of cold (4 ??C) cider in a vial that is passed in an ultrasonic bath for 10 min at room temperature to enhance cider de-carbonation. The headspace CO2 is then analysed using the link Multiflow-isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Each year, a data bank is developed by fermenting authentic apples juices in order to control cider authenticity. Over a four year span (2008-2011), the CO2 produced during the fermentation step was studied. This set of 61 authentic ciders, from various French production areas, was used to determine a ??13C value range of -22.59 ?? 0.92??? for authentic ciders CO2 bubbles. 75 commercial ciders were analysed with this method. Most of the samples analysed present a gas ??13C value in the expected range. Nevertheless, some ciders have d13C values outside the 3r limit, revealing carbonation by technical CO2. This practice is not allowed for organic, ''Controlled Appellation of Origin'' ciders and ciders specifying natural carbonation on the label. ?? 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tags: oxygen , food , gashead

GC-C-IRMS analysis of FAMEs as a tool to ascertain the diet of Iberian pigs used for the production of pork products with high added value
Grasas y Aceites (2013)
C. Recio, Q. Martín, C. Raposo

Taste, quality and perceived health benefits result in a high demand for both green and mature pork products derived from the Iberian bred swine. These characteristics are directly related to diet and breeding style (free ranging in a particular Mediterranean ecosystem: the Dehesa). Given that current demand is not matched by the available resources, animal feed is increasingly used. GC-C-IRMS analysis of Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic and Linoleic Acid methyl esters allows for differentiating between pork raised in the traditional way and that fattened on animal feed. Although a value of d13CC18:1 = –25.9‰ is a good discriminator, exploratory analysis of principal canonical components is required to properly assign any unknown sample.

Characterization of Slovenian apples with respect to their botanical and geographical origin and agricultural production practice
Food Technology and Biotechnology (2012)
Karmen Bizjak Bat, Rajko Vidrih, Marijan Nečemer, Branka Mozetič Vodopivec, Ines Mulič, Peter Kump, Nives Ogrinc

The objective of this preliminary study is to demonstrate that the combination of multi- -element analysis, several isotopic ratios (13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 2H/1H) and selected chemical and physical parameters (fruit mass, antioxidant activity, content of ascorbic acid and total phenols) can be used to differentiate the varieties of Slovenian apples, the geo- graphical location of their growth and agricultural practice. The stable isotope parameters in sugar, pulp, protein and water were shown to be the most significant variables in this regard. Botanical origin (cultivar) was found to have a major influence on the d13C and d15N values of proteins and the d18O and dD values of water. Geographical regions were well separated based on the d18O and dD values in water and the concentrations of Rb and S in fruit juice. The most significant variables to distinguish between organically and con- ventionally cultivated fruits were found to be 15N/14N ratio and antioxidant activity. In ad- dition, significant differences were also observed in ascorbic acid content
Tags: hydrogen , oxygen , food , gashead

Intrinsic ratios of glucose, fructose, glycerol and ethanol 13C/12C isotopic ratio determined by HPLC-co-IRMS: toward determining constants for wine authentication.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (2011)
François Guyon, Laetitia Gaillard, Marie-Hélène Salagoïty, Bernard Médina

High-performance liquid chromatography linked to isotope ratio mass spectrometry (HPLC-co-IRMS) via a Liquiface© interface has been used to simultaneously determine (13)C isotope ratios of glucose (G), fructose (F), glycerol (Gly) and ethanol (Eth) in sweet and semi-sweet wines. The data has been used the study of wine authenticity. For this purpose, 20 authentic wines from various French production areas and various vintages have been analyzed after dilution in pure water from 20 to 200 times according to sugar content. If the (13)C isotope ratios vary according to the production area and the vintage, it appears that internal ratios of (13)C isotope ratios (R((13)C)) of the four compounds studied can be considered as a constant. Thus, ratios of isotope ratios are found to be 1.00 ± 0.04 and 1.02 ± 0.08 for R((13)C(G/F)) and R((13)C(Gly/Eth)), respectively. Moreover, R((13)C(Eth/Sugar)) is found to be 1.15 ± 0.10 and 1.16 ± 0.08 for R((13)C(Gly/Sugar)). Additions of glucose, fructose and glycerol to a reference wine show a variation of the R((13)C) value for a single product addition as low as 2.5 g/L(-1). Eighteen commercial wines and 17 concentrated musts have been analyzed. Three wine samples are suspicious as the R((13)C) values are out of range indicating a sweetening treatment. Moreover, concentrated must analysis shows that (13)C isotope ratio can be also used directly to determine the authenticity of the matrix.
Tags: carbon , food , liqfac

Effects of Static or Oscillating Dietary Crude Protein Levels on Fermentation Dynamics of Beef Cattle Diets Using a Dual-Flow Continuous Culture System
PLOS ONE (2011)
Paloma de Melo Amaral, Lays Débora Silva Mariz, Pedro Del Bianco Benedeti, Lorrayny Galoro da Silva, Eduardo Marostegan de Paula, Hugo Fernando Monteiro, Teshome Shenkoru, Stefanie Alvarenga Santos, Simon Roger Poulson, Antonio Pinheiro Faciola, K Doranal

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of increasing dietary crude protein (CP) levels and also comparing the effects of static versus oscillating dietary CP on ruminal nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation, nitrogen (N) metabolism, and microbial efficiency in beef cattle diets using a dual-flow continuous culture system. Eight fermenters (1,223 ± 21 mL) were used in a replicated 4 x 4 Latin square design with periods lasting 12 d each (8 d for adaptation and 4 d for sampling). Dietary treatments were: 1) 10% CP, 2) 12% CP, 3) 14% CP, and 4) 10 and 14% CP diets oscillating at 48-h intervals. Experimental diets consisted of 50% orchard hay and 50% concentrate. Fermenters were fed 72 g/d and solid and liquid dilution rates were adjusted to 5.5 and 11%/h, respectively. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure in SAS with α = 0.05. Apparent and true ruminal digestibilities of dry matter and organic matter were not affected (P > 0.05) by increasing dietary CP, nor by oscillating dietary CP. Total volatile fatty acids concentration and molar proportions of acetate, propionate, butyrate, valerate, iso-butyrate and iso-valerate were not affected (P > 0.05) by increasing or oscillating dietary CP. Ruminal NH3-N concentration increased linearly (P < 0.01) in response to increasing dietary CP. Total N, non-ammonia N, and rumen undegraded protein flows did not differ among treatments or between oscillating dietary CP and static 12% CP. Microbial N and NH3-N flows and microbial efficiency did not differ when comparing oscillating versus static CP (P > 0.05). However, there was a quadratic effect (P < 0.05) for these variables when dietary CP was increased. These results indicate that either ruminal microorganisms do not respond to oscillating CP levels or are capable of coping with 48-h periods of undernourishment.

Combining isotopic signatures of n ( 87 Sr )/ n ( 86 Sr ) and light stable elements ( C , N , O , S ) with multi-elemental profiling for the authentication of provenance of European cereal samples
Journal of Cereal Science (2011)
Bernhard Wimmer, Gerhard Heiss, Christian Dekant, Peter Deters-itzelsberger, Stefan Hoelzl, Susanne Rummel, Christophe Brach-papa, Marleen Van, Luana Bontempo, Federica Camin, Roberto Larcher, Matteo Perini

The aim of this work (from the FP6 project TRACE) was to develop methods based on the use of geochemical markers for the authentication of the geographical origin of cereal samples in Europe (cf. EC regulations 2081/92 and 1898/06). For the first time, the potential usefulness of combining n(87Sr)/n(86Sr) and δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and δ34S isotopic signatures, alone or with key element concentrations ([Na], [K], [Ca], [Cu] and [Rb], progressively identified out of 31 sets of results), was investigated through multiple step multivariate statistics for more than 500 cereal samples collected over 2 years from 17 sampling sites across Europe representing an extensive range of geographical and environmental characteristics. From the classification categories compared (north/south; proximity to the Atlantic Ocean/to the Mediterranean Sea/to else; bed rock geologies) the first two were the most efficient (particularly with the ten variables selected together). In some instances element concentrations made a greater impact than the isotopic tracers. Validation of models included external prediction tests on 20% of the data randomly selected and, rarely done, a study on the robustness of these multivariate data treatments to uncertainties on measurement results. With the models tested it was possible to individualise 15 of the sampling sites.
Tags: carbon , nitrogen , oxygen , sulfur , food , elem

Tracing the geographical origin of beefs being circulated in Korean markets based on stable isotopes
Yeon-sik Bong, Woo-jin Shin, A-reum Lee, Young-soo Kim, Kangjoo Kim, Kwang-sik Lee

We have examined the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotopic compositions of American, Mexican, Australian, New Zealand and Korean beefs, which are currently being circulated in Korean markets, to check whether stable isotope ratios can identify their country of origin. Each beef exhibited statistically distinct isotopic compositions, especially in oxygen and carbon, because of the different isotopic compositions of their water and cattle feeds. Nevertheless, their isotopic compositions still showed some overlap, especially among USA, Australian, and Korean beefs, which sometimes resulted in significant misidentification when a single isotope was considered. However, the discrimination was generally successful when both the carbon and the oxygen isotopes were used.
Tags: carbon , nitrogen , oxygen , food , elem

Multielement stable isotope ratios (H, C, N, S) of honey from different European regions
Food Chemistry (2010)
Antje Schellenberg, Stefanie Chmielus, Claus Schlicht, Federica Camin, Matteo Perini, Luana Bontempo, Katharina Heinrich, Simon D. Kelly, Andreas Rossmann, Freddy Thomas, Eric Jamin, Micha Horacek

The aim of this study as a part of the food traceability project ‘‘TRACE” funded by the EU was to investi- gate if honeys produced in regions with different climatic and geological characteristics could be discrim- inated on the basis of the isotopic data. The hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur stable isotope ratios of 516 authentic honeys from 20 European regions are presented and discussed. As honey contains only small quantities of nitrogen and sulphur, the honey protein was precipitated in order to obtain measur- able amounts of these elements. The mean hydrogen isotopic ratios of the honey protein were found to be significantly correlated with the mean hydrogen isotopic ratios of precipitation and groundwater in the production regions. Carbon isotopic ratios were influenced by climate. The sulphur stable isotope com- position is clearly influenced by geographical location (sea spray effect) and surface geology of the pro- duction regions. The results show that the stable isotope ratios of the four bio-elements carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulphur in honey protein can be applied to verify the origin of honey. Carbon and sulphur were identified by canonical discriminant analysis as providing the maximum discrimination between honey samples. For seven regions the percentage of correct classified samples is greater than 70%. It was concluded that the methodology in its current state can be used to provide reliable origin information
Tags: carbon , hydrogen , nitrogen , sulfur , food , elem

Application of trace element and stable isotope signatures to determine the provenance of tea (Camellia sinensis) samples
Food Chemistry (2010)
Tamara S. Pilgrim, R. John Watling, Kliti Grice

The reputation of particular countries, and plantations within those countries, for the production of high quality tea means that these producers can ask a significantly higher price for their specific product than average. This leads to a temptation for unscrupulous producers to fraudulently label their product as coming from one of these areas to take advantage of this higher price. A simple method for the analysis and verification of the country and plantation of origin of tea would provide security to both tea growers and consumers and would largely stamp out this illegal activity. This paper details the use of complimentary organic and inorganic isotope techniques for the analysis of tea samples from Asia. The application of linear discriminant analysis of the isotope ratios and mineral concentrations permitted 97.6% correct classification of the tea samples using the following variables δD, δ13C, 49Ti, 53Cr, 59Co, 60Ni, 65Cu, 71Ga, 85Rb, 88Sr, 89Y, 93Nb, 111Cd, 133Cs, 138Ba, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 153Eu, 203Tl, 208Pb and 209Bi.
Tags: carbon , hydrogen , nitrogen , food , crim , elem

delta(34)S-value measurements in food origin assignments and sulfur isotope fractionations in plants and animals.
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry (2010)
Nicole Tanz, Hanns-Ludwig Schmidt

The delta(34)S values of biological material, especially food commodities, serve as indicators for origin assignments. However, in the metabolism of higher plants sulfur isotope fractionations must be expected. As a matter of fact, the delta(34)S values of the sulfate- and organic-S, respectively, of Brassicaceae and Allium species vegetables showed differences between 3 and 6 per thousand, and differences in glucosinolates were between 0 and 14 per thousand. delta(34)S-value differences of total-S between individual tissues of the same plant were approximately 3 per thousand. It is believed that these relatively small and variable fractionations are due to the partition of individual S-metabolism steps to different plant compartments, where they may occur independently and quantitatively. The delta(34)S values of herbivore muscle meat and milk relative to the diet and between an animal and its child had trophic shifts of approximately 1.5 per thousand. (34)S enrichments of up to 4 per thousand were observed for hair, hooves, and horn, an isotope fractionation of -5 per thousand between the diet sulfate and cartilage. Therefore, the reported agreements between delta(34)S value of biomass and primary S sources are true for only bulk material and not for individual compounds or tissues.
Tags: sulfur , food , soil , elem