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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 May 13;57(9):3404-8. doi: 10.1021/jf900312p.

Authentication and traceability study of hazelnuts from piedmont, Italy.

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Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Eastern Piedmont, via Teresa Michel, 11, Alessandria 15100, Italy.


Hazelnut is one of the most important items in high-quality food products from Piedmont, Italy. The 'Tonda Gentile delle Langhe' (TGL) variety is acknowledged all over the world as the best one, and it is particularly appreciated when used to provide flavor in chocolate products. Authentication and/or traceability studies must therefore be developed to safeguard this variety against fraud, which can occur when the product is partially or totally substituted with hazelnuts of lower quality. In this work, a classification of hazelnuts from different countries is presented, showing the possibility to discriminate the TGL from other productions on the basis of the distribution of trace elements as determined by means of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), with particular reference to lanthanides. Accuracy of the sample treatment procedure was tested by analysis of biological certified materials. Data from elemental analysis were chemometrically treated with an unsupervised method, such as principal component analysis (PCA), allowing for a good discrimination among groups.

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