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Chemical Composition

Rapid screening methods for detecting substitution of undeclared material in foods

authentication-graphThe Analytical Sciences Unit at IFR has a long history of developing molecular spectroscopy methods (infrared, IR, and nuclear magnetic resonance, NMR) for the analysis of foods and food products.

Our recent focus has been on rapid profiling of the triglycerides in foods with a high fat content, such as edible oils, meat and meat products. A number of high-throughput screening applications have been developed, as follows:

  • Detecting Fraudulent Substitution of Beef with other Animal Species
  • Profiling Fatty Acids in Edible Oils
  • Compositional Analysis of Complex Food Products

For Industry and Regulators

Benchtop NMR designed by Oxford Instruments

Benchtop NMR designed by Oxford Instruments

The measurement technique we are using for these services is benchtop  NMR, conducted using the new PulsarTM instrument, designed by one of the world’s leading specialists in magnet technologies, Oxford Instruments.

The analysis is quick – typically 10 minutes per sample – and provides quantitative information on the contents of the different fatty acids present. These values can be used to provide labelling information, or to verify species – of seed and nut oils and animal fats and extracts, for example, from fresh and frozen meat.

For more information about any of our services or to enquire about potential projects please contact the Centre.