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Appl Spectrosc. 2003 Jan;57(1):23-7.

New method for pollen identification by FT-IR spectroscopy.

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Laboratory of Chemistry, Department of Science, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, 11855 Athens, Greece.


A new methodology for identification of pollen was developed based on FT-IR spectroscopy. Pollen samples of twenty different plant species were collected and the diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFTS) and KBr pellet spectra were recorded. Libraries of spectra were created. Spectra of unknown plant origin pollen were recorded and compared with those of the corresponding pollen library and the match value was measured automatically using the appropriate software (OMINC ver. 3.1). From the same pollen samples, microscopic slides were prepared and the photographs of the pollen grains were used as a second comparison method. Using light microscopy, the pollen identification is usually limited to the family or generic name, while FT-IR spectroscopy can distinguish species belonging to the same genus. This method is simple and fast, and when the DRIFTS technique is used the sample is not destroyed.

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