Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Purdue food scientists improve testing of health supplements

05.09.2003


Lisa Mauer’s research lab at Purdue University has tested a variety of oils for purity – from cod liver to vegetable and every imaginable oil in between. Mauer and her research team used infrared spectroscopy and statistical analysis to classify samples of dietary supplement oils, as well as common food oils. (Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)


Purdue University researchers have discovered a faster, less expensive method to test the quality and purity of dietary supplement oils, such as flax seed, borage seed and grape seed oil, often touted as cures for many human maladies.

The research results are published in the September issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and on the journal’s Web site.

"This study brings analytical chemistry, food science, nutritional sciences and consumer interest together," said Lisa Mauer, assistant professor of food science. "Consumers want the salad dressing brand they buy to taste the same every time. The same is true for special types of oils, which are more expensive than a general cooking oil. You expect what you buy to be high quality and contain what is on the label."



Consumers are concerned about purity because of taste, safety, health benefits and cost, she said. While oils that are less pure may be less expensive, they may lose the flavor or health benefits, and some can even be detrimental to health. In addition, consumer demand for food and food additives is increasingly for organic or 100 percent natural products.

Manufacturers of health supplements and drugs are concerned with purity because of quality control issues that impact safety of the substances and company economics.

To address these concerns, scientists search for fast, effective, inexpensive ways of differentiating between different ingredients – in this case dietary supplement oils.

Purdue researchers used infrared spectroscopy and statistical analysis to classify samples of 14 dietary supplement oils and five common food oils. The scientists profiled the chemical makeup of at least two different brands of each.

First, pure oil samples were tested to determine how well the spectroscopy method, called Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), could differentiate between each one. Then they mixed various amounts of each cooking oil with one of the dietary oils and tested to determine if FT-IR could identify the amounts of individual oils in the compounds.

FT-IR uses wavelengths of light to identify types of chemical bonds. Each type of molecule absorbs light differently, producing a spectrum. Scientists use this spectral information to identify the compound, much the way a fingerprint can identify a person.

"We wanted to see how good FT-IR and common chemical measurement analyses are at differentiating real-world whole samples instead of just one component," Mauer said. "This is the first time this method has been used to differentiate a whole spectrum of food samples, such as the 19 oils used in the study, instead of only comparing two sample types."

Conventional methods for ensuring the makeup of dietary and special use oils are time-consuming, she said. They involve multiple preparation steps and analysis, which take as much as several hours, after the sample preparation and initial analysis are complete. This painstaking process makes traditional purity tests expensive. The FT-IR method took only five minutes once the analytical procedure had been developed.

Many food and pharmaceutical companies already own FT-IR equipment, so there would be no additional cost of using the new purity testing.

In their research, the Purdue scientists tested oil mixtures that had 2 percent to 20 percent by volume of common food oils.

The researchers found that the FT-IR method could identify the adulteration down to 2 percent. They picked this range because food manufacturers have said those are the levels they need to know for quality control of oil mixtures, Mauer said.

The dietary supplement oils tested were almond, apricot kernel, black currant, borage, cod liver, evening primrose, flax seed, grape seed, hazelnut, hemp seed, macadamia nut, olive, pumpkin seed and wheat germ oils. The common food oils were canola, corn, peanut, soybean and sunflower.

Though they didn’t test for adulteration levels of oils that would cause allergic reactions in people, such as those allergic to peanut products, Mauer said the study indicated that the method likely could detect lower levels of various oils. Other studies have shown that FT-IR can be used to identify the region where the oil-producing plant was grown and the variety of plant from which it came.

"It’s interesting to see that some of the oils, such as canola oil and pumpkin seed oil or hazelnut oil and olive oil, are structurally so similar," Mauer said. "It’s based on the fatty acid composition. But while you see dietary claims related to pumpkin seed oil, I don’t know of any canola oil being sold in capsules for health purposes."

The other researchers involved with this study were Banu Ozen, postdoctoral fellow, and Ilan Weiss, graduate research assistant, both of the Department of Food Science.

The Purdue University Agricultural Research Programs provided funding for this research.

Writer: Susan A. Steeves, (765) 496-7481, ssteeves@purdue.edu

Source: Lisa Mauer, (765) 494-9111, mauer@foodsci.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu;

Susan A. Steeves | Purdue University
Further information:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/030904.Mauer.oil.html
http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/
http://www.nih.gov/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>