Isotope food provenancing

With improved refining techniques and ever-growing popularity among hobbyists, wine and other food products have become the target of multiple frauds worldwide.

Within the last 30 years, the analysis of stable and radiogenic isotopes have demonstrated their added value as a forensic tool in the fight against fraud in the food industry. Several isotope analyses are now official or being regarded as standard methods in Europe and North America for testing the origin and authenticity of food products. These methods are based on the analysis of stable isotope compositions (δ2H, δ13C, δ18O, δ15N) and/or radiogenic isotope ratios (e.g. 87Sr/86Sr) of a final product or of one of its compounds, such as an ingredient or a specific molecule. The isotope characterisation provides information on the botanical and geographical origins of the initial materials.

In collaboration with the AVQ (Association des Vignerons du Québec), we developed a methodology for certifying wines, based on a multi-isotope approach: 87Sr/86Sr & 88Sr/86Sr and 84Sr/86Sr.

We are currently working with the ACER Research Center (St-Hyacinthe) to extend this methodology to the authentication of Canadian maple syrups.

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