Special Issue "Food Authentication: Techniques, Trends and Emerging Approaches"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Analytical Methods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Raúl González-Domínguez
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Gastronomy, Pharmacy Faculty, University of Barcelona, Av Joan XXIII, s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: metabolomics; mass spectrometry; food authentication; nutrition; polyphenols; neurodegeneration; Alzheimer’s disease; metabolic disorders
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Multiple factors can directly influence the chemical composition of foods, and consequently their organoleptic, nutritional, and bioactive properties, including their geographical origin; their variety or breed; as well as their conditions of cultivation, breeding, and/or feeding, among others. Therefore, there is a great interest in the development of accurate, robust, and high-throughput analytical methods to guarantee the authenticity and traceability of foods. For these purposes, a large number of sensorial, physical, and chemical approaches can be used, which must be normally combined with advanced statistical tools.
The aim of this Special Issue is to gather original research papers and review articles focused on the development and application of analytical techniques and emerging approaches in food authentication. Works dealing with the characterization of food components potentially linked to its traceability and their role in human health are also welcome.

Dr. Raúl González-Domínguez
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Food authentication
  • Food traceability
  • Protected designation of origin
  • High-throughput methods
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Food composition

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Food Authentication: Techniques, Trends and Emerging Approaches
Foods 2020, 9(3), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030346 - 17 Mar 2020
Abstract
Multiple factors can directly influence the chemical composition of foods and, consequently, their organoleptic, nutritional and bioactive properties, including the geographical origin, the variety or breed, as well as the conditions of cultivation, breeding and/or feeding, among others [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Chemical Profiling of Strawberry as a Traceability Tool to Investigate the Effect of Cultivar and Cultivation Conditions
Foods 2020, 9(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010096 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The chemical composition of foods is tightly regulated by multiple genotypic and agronomic factors, which can thus serve as potential descriptors for traceability and authentication purposes. In the present work, we performed a multi-chemical characterization of strawberry fruits from five varieties (Aromas, Camarosa, [...] Read more.
The chemical composition of foods is tightly regulated by multiple genotypic and agronomic factors, which can thus serve as potential descriptors for traceability and authentication purposes. In the present work, we performed a multi-chemical characterization of strawberry fruits from five varieties (Aromas, Camarosa, Diamante, Medina, and Ventana) grown in two cultivation systems (open/closed soilless systems) during two consecutive campaigns with different climatic conditions (rainfall and temperature). For this purpose, we analyzed multiple components closely related to the sensory and health characteristics of strawberry, including sugars, organic acids, phenolic compounds, and essential and non-essential mineral elements, and various complementary statistical approaches were applied for selecting chemical descriptors of cultivar and agronomic conditions. Anthocyanins, phenolic acids, sucrose, and malic acid were found to be the most discriminant variables among cultivars, while climatic conditions and the cultivation system were behind changes in polyphenol contents. These results thus demonstrate the utility of combining multi-chemical profiling approaches with advanced chemometric tools in food traceability research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Differentiation between Ripening Stages of Iberian Dry-Cured Ham According to the Free Amino Acids Content
Foods 2020, 9(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010082 - 12 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, the differentiation of three ripening stages, postsalting, drying, and cellar, of Iberian dry-cured ham has been carried out according to their free amino acids contents. Eighteen L-amino acids, alanine, 2-aminobutanoic acid, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, hydroxyproline, isoleucine, leucine, [...] Read more.
In this paper, the differentiation of three ripening stages, postsalting, drying, and cellar, of Iberian dry-cured ham has been carried out according to their free amino acids contents. Eighteen L-amino acids, alanine, 2-aminobutanoic acid, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, hydroxyproline, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine have been determined by gas chromatography with derivatization with N,O-bis(trimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry was used to confirm the presence of the eighteen amino acids in the ham samples, and gas chromatography using a DB-17HT column and flame ionization detector was used for quantitative determination. Extraction with a mixture methanol-acetonitrile has been carried out, achieving recoveries in the range 52–164%. Methimazole was used as internal standard. Limits of detection ranged between 7.0 and 611.7 mg·kg−1. Free amino acids have been used as chemical descriptors to differentiate between the ripening stages. Principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis have been used as chemometric techniques, achieving complete differentiation between the ripening stages. Alanine, tyrosine, glutamine, proline, 2-aminobutanoic acid, cysteine, and valine were the most differentiating amino acids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Authentication of the Geographical Origin of Margarines and Fat-Spread Products from Liquid Chromatographic UV-Absorption Fingerprints and Chemometrics
Foods 2019, 8(11), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8110588 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fat-spread products are a stabilized emulsion of water and vegetable oils. The whole fat content can vary from 10 to 90% (w/w). There are different kinds, which are differently named, and their composition depends on the country in which [...] Read more.
Fat-spread products are a stabilized emulsion of water and vegetable oils. The whole fat content can vary from 10 to 90% (w/w). There are different kinds, which are differently named, and their composition depends on the country in which they are produced or marketed. Thus, having analytical solutions to determine geographical origin is required. In this study, some multivariate classification methods are developed and optimised to differentiate fat-spread-related products from different geographical origins (Spain and Morocco), using as an analytical informative signal the instrumental fingerprints, acquired by liquid chromatography coupled with a diode array detector (HPLC-DAD) in both normal and reverse phase modes. No sample treatment was applied, and, prior to chromatographic analysis, only the samples were dissolved in n‑hexane. Soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA) and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were used as classification methods. In addition, several classification strategies were applied, and performance of the classifications was evaluated applying proper classification metrics. Finally, 100% of samples were correctly classified applying PLS-DA with data collected in reverse phase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Robust DNA Isolation Protocol from Filtered Commercial Olive Oil for PCR-Based Fingerprinting
Foods 2019, 8(10), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100462 - 09 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has elevated commercial value due to its health appeal, desirable characteristics and quantitatively limited production, and thus it has become an object of intentional adulteration. As EVOOs on the market might consist of a blend of olive varieties [...] Read more.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has elevated commercial value due to its health appeal, desirable characteristics and quantitatively limited production, and thus it has become an object of intentional adulteration. As EVOOs on the market might consist of a blend of olive varieties or sometimes even of a mixture of oils from different botanical species, an array of DNA-fingerprinting methods have been developed to check the varietal composition of the blend. Starting from a comparison between publicly available DNA extraction protocols, we set up a timely, low-cost, reproducible and effective DNA isolation protocol, which allows an adequate amount of DNA to be recovered even from commercial filtered EVOOs. Then, in order to verify the effectiveness of the DNA extraction protocol herein proposed, we applied PCR-based fingerprinting methods starting from the DNA extracted from three EVOO samples of unknown composition. In particular, genomic regions harboring nine simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and eight genotyping-by-sequencing-derived single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were amplified for authentication and traceability of the three EVOO samples. The whole investigation strategy herein described might favor producers in terms of higher revenues and consumers in terms of price transparency and food safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physicochemical, Spectroscopic and Chromatographic Analyses in Combination with Chemometrics for the Discrimination of Four Sweet Cherry Cultivars Grown in Northern Greece
Foods 2019, 8(10), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8100442 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A total of 56 sweet cherry samples belonging to four cultivars (Ferrovia, Canada Giant, Lapins, and Germersdorfer) grown in northern Greece were characterized and differentiated according to botanical origin. For the above purpose, the following parameters were determined: conventional quality parameters (titratable acidity [...] Read more.
A total of 56 sweet cherry samples belonging to four cultivars (Ferrovia, Canada Giant, Lapins, and Germersdorfer) grown in northern Greece were characterized and differentiated according to botanical origin. For the above purpose, the following parameters were determined: conventional quality parameters (titratable acidity (TA), pH, total soluble solids (TSS), total phenolic content (TPC), mechanical properties and sensory evaluation, sugars by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), volatile compounds by GC/MS, and minerals by ICP-OES. Statistical treatment of the data was carried out using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA). The results showed that the combination of volatile compounds and conventional quality parameters provided a correct classification rate of 84.1%, the combination of minerals and conventional quality parameters 86.4%, and the combination of minerals, conventional quality parameters and sugars provided the highest correct classification rate of 88.6%. When the above four cherry cultivars were combined with previously studied Kordia, Regina, Skeena and Mpakirtzeika cultivars, collected from the same regions during the same seasons, the respective values for the differentiation of all eight cultivars were: 85.5% for the combination of conventional quality parameters, volatiles and minerals; and 91.3% for the combination of conventional quality parameters, volatiles, minerals, and sugars. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Differentiation of Spanish Vinegars from Jerez and Condado de Huelva Protected Designations of Origin
Foods 2019, 8(8), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080341 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Thirty one Jerez vinegar samples and 33 Huelva vinegar samples were analyzed for polyphenolic and volatile compound content in order to characterize them and attempt to differentiate them. Sixteen polyphenolic compounds were quantified by means of ultraperformance liquid chromatography method with diode array [...] Read more.
Thirty one Jerez vinegar samples and 33 Huelva vinegar samples were analyzed for polyphenolic and volatile compound content in order to characterize them and attempt to differentiate them. Sixteen polyphenolic compounds were quantified by means of ultraperformance liquid chromatography method with diode array detection (UPLC–DAD), and 37 volatile compounds were studied by means of stir bar sorptive extraction–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SBSE–GC–MS). Spectrophotometric CIELab parameters were also measured for all the samples. The results obtained from the statistical multivariate treatment of the data evidenced a clear difference between vinegars from the two geographical indications with regard to their polyphenolic content, with Jerez vinegars exhibiting a greater phenolic content. Differentiation by the volatile compound content was, however, not so evident. Nevertheless, a considerable differentiation between the two groups of vinegars based on their volatile fraction was achieved. This may bring to light the grape varieties and geographical factors that have a clear influence on such differences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Classification of Hen Eggs by HPLC-UV Fingerprinting and Chemometric Methods
Foods 2019, 8(8), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080310 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hen eggs are classified into four groups according to their production method: Organic, free-range, barn, or caged. It is known that a fraudulent practice is the misrepresentation of a high-quality egg with a lower one. In this work, high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet [...] Read more.
Hen eggs are classified into four groups according to their production method: Organic, free-range, barn, or caged. It is known that a fraudulent practice is the misrepresentation of a high-quality egg with a lower one. In this work, high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) fingerprints were proposed as a source of potential chemical descriptors to achieve the classification of hen eggs according to their labelled type. A reversed-phase separation was optimized to obtain discriminant enough chromatographic fingerprints, which were subsequently processed by means of principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). Particular trends were observed for organic and caged hen eggs by PCA and, as expected, these groupings were improved by PLS-DA. The applicability of the method to distinguish egg manufacturer and size was also studied by PLS-DA, observing variations in the HPLC-UV fingerprints in both cases. Moreover, the classification of higher class eggs, in front of any other with one lower, and hence cheaper, was studied by building paired PLS-DA models, reaching a classification rate of at least 82.6% (100% for organic vs. non-organic hen eggs) and demonstrating the suitability of the proposed method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Virgin Olive Oil Adulteration by a Rapid Luminescent Method
Foods 2019, 8(8), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080287 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The adulteration of virgin olive oil with hazelnut oil is a common fraud in the food industry, which makes mandatory the development of accurate methods to guarantee the authenticity and traceability of virgin olive oil. In this work, we demonstrate the potential of [...] Read more.
The adulteration of virgin olive oil with hazelnut oil is a common fraud in the food industry, which makes mandatory the development of accurate methods to guarantee the authenticity and traceability of virgin olive oil. In this work, we demonstrate the potential of a rapid luminescent method to characterize edible oils and to detect adulterations among them. A regression model based on five luminescent frequencies related to minor oil components was designed and validated, providing excellent performance for the detection of virgin olive oil adulteration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Food Supply Chain Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Sharing Information to Detect and Prevent Food Integrity Issues
Foods 2019, 8(6), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8060225 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
One of the biggest challenges facing the food industry is assuring food integrity. Dealing with complex food integrity issues requires a multi-dimensional approach. Preventive actions and early reactive responses are key for the food supply chain. Information sharing could facilitate the detection and [...] Read more.
One of the biggest challenges facing the food industry is assuring food integrity. Dealing with complex food integrity issues requires a multi-dimensional approach. Preventive actions and early reactive responses are key for the food supply chain. Information sharing could facilitate the detection and prevention of food integrity issues. This study investigates attitudes towards a food integrity information sharing system (FI-ISS) among stakeholders in the European food supply chain. Insights into stakeholders’ interest in participating and their conditions for joining an FI-ISS are assessed. The stakeholder consultation consisted of three rounds. During the first round, a total of 143 food industry stakeholders—covering all major food sectors susceptible to food integrity issues—participated in an online quantitative survey between November 2017 and February 2018. The second round, an online qualitative feedback survey in which the findings were presented, received feedback from 61 stakeholders from the food industry, food safety authorities and the science community. Finally, 37 stakeholders discussed the results in further detail during an interactive workshop in May 2018. Three distinct groups of industry stakeholders were identified based on reported frequency of occurrence and likelihood of detecting food integrity issues. Food industry stakeholders strongly support the concept of an FI-ISS, with an attitude score of 4.49 (standard deviation (S.D.) = 0.57) on a 5-point scale, and their willingness to participate is accordingly high (81%). Consensus exists regarding the advantages an FI-ISS can yield towards detection and prevention. A stakeholder’s perception of the advantages was identified as a predictor of their intention to join an FI-ISS, while their perception of the disadvantages and the perceived risk of food integrity issues were not. Medium-sized companies perceive the current detection of food integrity issues as less likely compared to smaller and large companies. Interestingly, medium-sized companies also have lower intentions to join an FI-ISS. Four key success factors for an FI-ISS are defined, more specifically with regards to (1) the actors to be involved in a system, (2) the information to be shared, (3) the third party to manage the FI-ISS and (4) the role of food safety authorities. Reactions diverged concerning the required level of transparency, the type of data that stakeholders might be willing to share in an FI-ISS and the role authorities can have within an FI-ISS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Targeted and Untargeted Metabolomics as an Enhanced Tool for the Detection of Pomegranate Juice Adulteration
Foods 2019, 8(6), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8060212 - 14 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Pomegranate juice is one of the most popular fruit juices, is well-known as a “superfood”, and plays an important role in healthy diets. Due to its constantly growing demand and high value, pomegranate juice is often targeted for adulteration, especially with cheaper substitutes [...] Read more.
Pomegranate juice is one of the most popular fruit juices, is well-known as a “superfood”, and plays an important role in healthy diets. Due to its constantly growing demand and high value, pomegranate juice is often targeted for adulteration, especially with cheaper substitutes such as apple and red grape juice. In the present study, the potential of applying a metabolomics approach to trace pomegranate juice adulteration was investigated. A novel methodology based on high-resolution mass spectrometric analysis was developed using targeted and untargeted screening strategies to discover potential biomarkers for the reliable detection of pomegranate juice adulteration from apple and red grape juice. Robust classification and prediction models were built with the use of unsupervised and supervised techniques (principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA)), which were able to distinguish pomegranate juice adulteration to a level down to 1%. Characteristic m/z markers were detected, indicating pomegranate juice adulteration, and several marker compounds were identified. The results obtained from this study clearly demonstrate that Mass Spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomics have the potential to be used as a reliable screening tool for the rapid determination of food adulteration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Valorization of Prickly Pear Juice Geographical Origin Based on Mineral and Volatile Compound Contents Using LDA
Foods 2019, 8(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8040123 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
In the present work the mineral content and volatile profile of prickly pear juice prepared from wild cultivars was investigated. Fruits used in the study originated from three areas of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Twenty-five macro- and micro-minerals (K, Na, P, Ca, Mg, Al, [...] Read more.
In the present work the mineral content and volatile profile of prickly pear juice prepared from wild cultivars was investigated. Fruits used in the study originated from three areas of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Twenty-five macro- and micro-minerals (K, Na, P, Ca, Mg, Al, B, Ba, Be, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb, Se, Si, Sn, Ti, Tl, V, Zn) were determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Furthermore, analysis of the mineral content of soil samples with ICP-OES showed a perfect correlation with those of fruit juices. Volatile compounds (alcohols, aldehydes, hydrocarbons, terpenoids, and others) were identified using an optimized headspace solid phase microextraction coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME/GC-MS) method. Multivariate analysis showed significant differences (p < 0.05) among the investigated parameters with respect to juice geographical origin. Prickly pear juice samples were classified according to geographical origin by 85.7% and 88.9% using 7 minerals and 21 volatile compounds, respectively. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Application of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Food Analysis
Foods 2019, 8(12), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120633 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Food contains various compounds, and there are many methods available to analyze each of these components. However, the large amounts of low-molecular-weight metabolites in food, such as amino acids, organic acids, vitamins, lipids, and toxins, make it difficult to analyze the spatial distribution [...] Read more.
Food contains various compounds, and there are many methods available to analyze each of these components. However, the large amounts of low-molecular-weight metabolites in food, such as amino acids, organic acids, vitamins, lipids, and toxins, make it difficult to analyze the spatial distribution of these molecules. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) imaging is a two-dimensional ionization technology that allows the detection of small metabolites in tissue sections without requiring purification, extraction, separation, or labeling. The application of MALDI-MS imaging in food analysis improves the visualization of these compounds to identify not only the nutritional content but also the geographical origin of the food. In this review, we provide an overview of some recent applications of MALDI-MS imaging, demonstrating the advantages and prospects of this technology compared to conventional approaches. Further development and enhancement of MALDI-MS imaging is expected to offer great benefits to consumers, researchers, and food producers with respect to breeding improvement, traceability, the development of value-added foods, and improved safety assessments. Full article
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