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 New insight into why Pierce's disease is so deadly to grapevines
11.06.2018 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Where are Europe’s last primary forests?
29.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>