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:

Monitoring Anabolic Steroids in Meat-Producing Animals. Review of Current Hyphenated Mass Spectrometric Techniques
Chromatographia (2004)
B. Le Bizec, P. Marchand, D. Maume, F. Monteau, F. Andre

Monitoring anabolic steroids in meat-producing animals is a challenging task. It implies very specific and sensitive analytical methods able to detect and identify sub-μg kg−1 residue levels in complex biological matrices such as meat, urine, or hair. Gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry are the most efficient means of achieving these objectives. In this paper we review how developments in mass spectrometry have been rapidly applied to this problem, how efficient analysis of anabolic steroids in urine, edible tissue, and hair has been achieved, and, later, how measurement of conjugate steroids and determination of the origin of natural steroid hormones has been achieved. The performance characteristics of different mass spectrometers (quadrupole, ion-trap, electromagnetic, isotope-ratio, tandem, and hybrid instruments), the efficiency of different acquisition techniques (LR-SIM, HR-SIM, MRM), and, finally, sample introduction (gas chromatography and liquid chromatography, with discussion of alternative interfaces) are discussed, with numerous applications
Tags: carbon , food , spor , gaschrom

Stable isotope variation as a tool to trace the authenticity of beef.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (2004)
M Boner, H Förstel

Organic beef coming principally from Germany was analysed for the hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur stable isotopic composition to test the possibility of tracing back the geographical origin. Since there is a well-known pattern of D/H and 18O/16O in meteoric water and in ground water, there is an existing link to tissue water in the beef. By including the stable isotope ratios of the other elements of life further information is available: soils show different isotope ratios of 15N/14N and 34S/32S depending on the geological composition, cultivation and atmospheric sulfur deposition. As organic farming is mainly obliged to use only their produced fodder, that ratio is reflected in the beef as well. Different organic beef samples from various German farms have been collected and analysed over nearly two years. To check the differentiation of foreign beef, samples from Argentina and Chile were also included in the study. The analyses of meat samples indicate that it is possible to trace back the region (e.g. Argentina and Germany) by using isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen. A local geographical differentiation can be done by using the stable isotopes of nitrogen and sulfur, as was demonstrated for three farms in Colonia Bay. An optimal differentiation also depends on the quality of further information (e.g. the season, kind of cattle breeding or the declaration of the local geographical origin). Certainly authenticity of beef is not only linked with the geographical origin but can also reflect the differentiation of organic and conventional farming. The fodder of organic cattle farming consists mainly of C3 plants and the use of C4 plants is more usual in conventional cattle farming. A 13C/12C ratio above -20 per thousand appears as a limit for organic farming. Increased values have to be controlled based on their authenticity.
Tags: carbon , hydrogen , nitrogen , sulfur , food , elem

Characterization of exogenous testosterone in livestock by gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry: influence of feeding and age.
Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM (2000)
V Ferchaud, B Le Bizec, F Monteau, F Andre

The detection of exogenous testosterone in bovine urine was investigated by using gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC/C/IRMS). The carbon isotopic ratio measurement of epitestosterone, etiocholanolone (testosterone metabolite) and DHEA (testosterone precursor) in female bovine urines after testosterone enanthate administration was carried out. An important modification in the 13C/12C ratio of testosterone metabolites was observed, such that significant differences between precursor and metabolites of testosterone occurred until three weeks after intramuscular administration of testosterone enanthate. The factors influencing the 13C/12C of endogenous steroids were studied especially through cattle feeding and age. The DHEA mean delta13C value was found to vary between -25 and -26/1000 when hay and concentrate diet were used for fattening. On the other hand the delta13C value observed when maize silage was used increased to -20/1000. Testosterone metabolites showed the same delta13C increase as their precursor. Moreover, we observed a clear relationship between age and efficiency of misuse determination. Indeed, because of the lower concentration of natural hormones in young animals, the contribution of exogenous molecules increases significantly compared with older subjects. Consequently, demonstration of administration is easier to achieve in calves than in mature animals.
Tags: carbon , food , spor , gaschrom