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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Oct 26;59(20):11109-16. doi: 10.1021/jf202204d. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Fourier transform near-infrared spectroscopy application for sea salt quality evaluation.

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CBQF/Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal.


Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy in diffuse reflectance mode was explored with the objective of discriminating sea salts according to their quality type (traditional salt vs "flower of salt") and geographical origin (Atlantic vs Mediterranean). Sea salts were also analyzed in terms of Ca(2+), Mg(2+), K(+), alkalinity, and sulfate concentrations to support spectroscopic results. High concentrations of Mg(2+) and K(+) characterized Atlantic samples, while a high Ca(2+) content was observed in traditional sea salts. A partial least-squares discriminant analysis model considering the 8500-7500 cm(-1) region permitted the discrimination of salts by quality types. The regions 4650-4350 and 5900-5500 cm(-1) allowed salts classification according to their geographical origin. It was possible to classify correctly 85.3 and 94.8% of the analyzed samples according to the salt type and to the geographical origin, respectively. These results demonstrated that NIR spectroscopy is a suitable and very efficient tool for sea salt quality evaluation.

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