Food Traceability and Security

A closer examination
of origin claims.
Food Traceability and Security

Food Traceability and Security

Identify the precise and real origin of ingredients to secure supply chains against adulterated products and foods from trade-exempted regions.

With Picarro’s precise, mobile CRDS instruments, you can check the stable isotope signature of ingredients to see where they came from. The process can confirm region of origin labeling and could be used to ensure "fair trade" claims are correct.

As a crop grows, it gets "coded" with the isotopic signature of the water it absorbs during photosynthesis. The specific isotope ratio of that water is, in turn, determined by geospatial location. In addition, a specific plant species metabolizes the carbon from atmospheric CO2 and encodes an isotopic carbon signature based on the conditions in which it grew (i.e., humidity, drought, sun exposure) and on the carbon fixation mechanism (C3, C4, CAM).

Now you can read these signatures. Using the Picarro process, a drop or crumb of an agricultural product is converted to release carbon and hydrogen as carbon dioxide and water. The isotopes of these two molecules represent the isotopic signature from the crop. Hence, we can distinguish between cocoa from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, cattle from Texas and Mexico, sugar from Iowa and Hawaii, or olive oil from Italy and Portugal.

Research Applications

Testing beverages for region of origin

Measuring the oxygen and hydrogen stable isotope ratios of the water in beverages can yield information regarding their point of origin. In this paper, the authors analyzed beer, sodas, juices, and milk. Especially interesting is that they used a Picarro isotopic water analyzer and applied the samples ‘as-is’, without any sample processing, which is a tremendous saving in time and per sample cost.

Get more from the paper: Analysis of the hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios of beverage waters without prior water extraction using isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy.

Detecting counterfeit Scotch whisky

Researchers used stable isotopes to detect counterfeit Scotch whiskies, which represent a serious health and financial risk. In this paper, they discuss the potential of CRDS as a fast and convenient method to make this type of analysis more available.

Get more from the paper: Detection of counterfeit scotch whisky by 2H and 18O stable isotope analysis.

NPR covers Nature’s Barcode™

NPR described the use of Picarro’s CRDS to detect food origin problems and how this technology can be applied within the industry to verify food authenticity. 'Nature's Barcode' Tells The Story Of Foods' True Origin.

Related Products

L2130-i – Highest precision, simultaneous δD and δ18O analysis for H2O via continuous vapor sampling, automated discrete liquid sampling and extraction of matrix-bound waters from organic solids

13C CM-CRDS – Fully integrated bulk stable isotope analysis device for δ13C analysis of foods and crops