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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27;54(26):9719-27.

Liquid chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry: a new perspective on honey adulteration detection.

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Laboratorio arbitral agroalimentario del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Crta. Coruña km 10,700, 28023 Madrid, Spain.


A new procedure to determine individual sugar (sucrose, glucose, and fructose) 13C isotope ratios, using liquid chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (HPLC-IRMS), has been developed to improve isotopic methods devoted to the study of honey authenticity. For this purpose 79 commercial honey samples from various origins were analyzed. Values of delta13Choney ranged from -14.2 to -27.2", and delta13Cprotein ranged from -23.6 to -26.9". A very strong correlation is observed between the individual sugar 13C ratios, which are altered in the event of sugar addition, even at low levels. The use of Deltadelta13C [fruct-glu], Deltadelta13C [fruct-suc], and Deltadelta13C [gluc-suc] systematic differences as an authenticity criterion permits the sugar addition [C3, beet sugar; or C4, cane sugar, cane syrup, isoglucose syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)] to be reliably detected (DL = 1-10%). The new procedure has advantages over existing methods in terms of analysis time and sensitivity. In addition, it is the first isotopic method developed that allows beet sugar addition detection.

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