Jueves, 22 Diciembre 2016 16:58

Development of a new method to analyze authenticity of vinegar

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Fundación Descubre

This technique allows examination of vinegar properties and with lower cost of the quality control process

Fundación Descubre

This technique allows examination of vinegar properties and with lower cost of the quality control process

Researchers at the Department of Bromatology and Food Technology of the University of Córdoba and The Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA), which belong to the the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3, have developed a new method to analyze authenticity of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) 'Vinagres de Montilla-Moriles' wine vinegars. For this, experts have used an instant, non-destructive technique to analyze chemical, physical and sensory properties of the product. The use of such advanced instrumentation has also resulted in reduction of economic costs by reducing the number of resources used in the validation process.

In the article 'Characterizing and Authenticating PDO Vinegars Using Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) Technology', published in the journal Sensors, the research team has shown that near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy can be successfully employed both in quality control of Montilla-Moriles vinegars and to prevent potential fraud in the manufacturing process. 'We have determine chemical quality parameters (such as acidity) as well as other properties such as intensity, tonality, color and alcohol content. In fact, this method will enable this Designation of Origin to better classify their products according to origin, category or range', says Dr. María Teresa Sánchez, researcher at the University of Córdoba, to Fundación Descubre.

Firstly, experts collected Montilla-Moriles PDO vinegar samples from different wineries in the province of Córdoba. 'Then, sample properties were analyzed both by NIRS technology in the NIR/MIR Spectroscopy Unit of the Central Service for Research Support (SCAI) of the University of Córdoba and by traditional reference methods in the IFAPA-Cabra Center laboratory', Sanchez explains. 'Once an initial calibration has been done, this technology allows direct prediction of the same parameters in new samples. This results in a decrease in analytical costs usually associated with traditional methods because, once equations are developed and validated, there is no longer need to buy new reagents or specific instrumentation for analysis of each individual parameter'.

Applicability in other sectors

NIRS technology provides a new method for analyzing authenticity of these products, which represents a breakthrough in quality control strategies and can be used at local, regional and international levels. 'TApplication of this procedure would reduce quality control costs and time in local businesses, industry and government agencies, as it would allow simultaneous and randomless analysis of all vinegars produced”, Dr. Sanchez explains.

This research has opened new lines of work focused in analysis of quality and origin of agricultural products from other sectors, such as fruit or meat. 'In addition to applying this technique to food products, we will try to optimize determination of vinegar origin and raw materials used during manufacturing, with the aim to detect imitations such as the usual blends with vinegar made from alcohol”, she concludes.

These results have been achieved as part of Excellence project “MEMS y NIRS-image sensors for non-destructive and in-situ analysis of animal and plant products”, funded by the Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Regional Government of Andalusia, whose principal Investigator is Prof. Ana Garrido Varo from the School of Agricultural

Reference:De la Haba MJ, Arias M, Ramírez P, López MI, Sánchez MT. Characterizing and Authenticating Montilla-Moriles PDO Vinegars Using Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS). Sensors.

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