Pomegranate Juice Adulteration
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Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pomegranate Juice Adulteration
CASE Food FraudSTUDY Pomegranate Juice Introduction Pomegranate juice’s popularity has skyrocketed in the last Adulteration 10 years. This has been due to a combination of the perceived health benefits of consuming the juice’s various antioxidant compounds (punicalagin, anthocyanins and ellagic acid) and its increased mainstream availability through Western pomegranate producers. This increase is highlighted by the rise in the consumption of 8-ounce servings of pomegranate juice in the U.S., which went from 75M servings in 2004 to 450M servings by 2008.1 Interestingly, this data indicates that in 2004, there was 50:50 pure-to-blended pomegranate juice consumption, whereas in 2008, 100% pomegranate juice made up 75% of that consumed.1 Popular juice blends, such as apple and grape, are less bitter and can make the overall juice taste more pleasant to those new to pomegranate. These blends have an additional advantage of being cheaper than pure pomegranate juice. Whereas a gallon of pomegranate juice concentrate costs $30-60, a gallon of apple or grape juice is between $5-7. This means if a pomegranate juice product is labeled as a blend with apple and grape juice, the consumer can expect to pay less than the cost of pure pomegranate juice.
Problems occur when lower cost juices are added and they are not mentioned on the label. This means that a producer can charge $30-60 for a gallon that is only worth $10-20. When asking how this happens, first consider where pomegranates have traditionally been grown. Iran is one of the world’s largest producers, however other notable countries include Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and many more. The countries have all had problems with suspicious food products in the past, with recent data suggesting a very high percentage of adulterated pomegranate juice is coming from the region. Figure 1a. Mass spectrum of pure pomegranate juice. The question should then arise ‘why not flag these countries imports into the West as suspicious?’ This scheme should be effective but unfortunately the food supply chain is very complex. For example, these juices may be shipped to a distributor in India or China or Russia, before being shipped to the West for bottling and consumption with virtually no trace of the original grower. As such, some final products maybe adulterated without the final the bottler’s knowledge. How can we detect this? While traceability is still an issue, detection of these Figure 1b. Mass spectrum of pure grape juice. fraudulent juices is important. Chromatography combined with mass spectrometry has been used to detect marker compounds for both pomegranate and the adulterant juices to good effect.2 The issue with these techniques is that they require a certain amount of sample preparation before analysis and the chromatography process itself can take up to an hour. The AxION Direct Sample Analysis (DSA) system integrated to the AxION 2 Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF MS) allows for the direct ionization and detection of the juice in seconds without sample preparation or method development. This not only speeds up the analysis to less than 10 seconds, but it also means that non-scientists can test for adulteration without the need to understand the Figure 1c. Mass spectrum of pomegranate juice adulterated with 1% fundamental chemistry. Figure 1 shows the mass spectral grape juice. profiles of 1a: pomegranate juice, 1b: grape juice and 1c: pomegranate juice with 1% grape juice adulteration carried out on a PerkinElmer AxION® DSA/TOF MS system with juice pipetted directly onto steel mesh for analysis, with Is there an alternative technique? gas temperature (25 ˚C), flow rate (3 L/min) and capillary DSA/TOF MS is a relatively simple, quick technique to carry exit voltage (-100V) previously adjusted to maximize signal, out an accurate analysis of pomegranate juice adulteration giving an average mass accuracy of less than 5 ppm. but most cases of adulteration are in larger percentages. Figure 1a shows that there are significant contributions Given this, can we use a screening technique so that all from citric and malic acid in pomegranate juice, Figure 1b samples can be scanned in an effective, yet efficient way? shows that grape juice also has malic and citric acids but One possible technology that has been investigated is UV/ also a contribution from tartaric acid. As this is not present Vis spectroscopy.3 For this work, 27 pomegranate, apple and in pomegranate, this means tartaric acid can be used as a grape mixtures were measured undiluted in 1 mm reduced- marker for grape juice addition to pomegranate juice. This path length cuvettes (as the samples absorb strongly, a is supported by Figure 1c where 1% grape juice has been 10-mm cuvette would be unsuitable) and measured using added to pomegranate juice and the tartaric is still clearly a PerkinElmer LAMBDA™ 25 UV/Vis spectrometer with viable. Hence, the juice is shown to be adulterated (with a fixed 1-nm bandpass and a 0.1-nm data interval (in grape or another tartaric acid-containing fruit juice). order to produce as many data points as possible for the2
chemometric analysis) with the resulting second derivative spectra shown in Figure 2a, pure pomegranate shown in Figure 2b, pure apple in 2c and grape in 2d. Second derivative spectroscopy is a useful tool when measuring natural products as it tends to be less susceptible to non- specific background absorbance effects while, in this particular case, enhancing peaks of analytical interest. Most mixtures, Figure 2a, show two significant features − a feature at 530 nm which is seen in pomegranate, 2b, andFigure 2a. Combined UV/Vis spectra for a range of pomegranate, apple grape, 2d. This is due to the red color of both pomegranateand grape mixtures. and grape juice and it is not surprising that apple juice has no observed feature. The spectra in Figure 2b also reveal features in the UV region for pomegranate juice that were present in all pomegranate-containing mixtures. These features are primarily due to the contributions from antioxidant compounds such as ellagic acid and give us a positive marker for pomegranate. This means that UV/Vis spectroscopy can be used, by measuring the loss of absorbance in this region, as an indication of the extent to which the pomegranate juice has been adulterated. Alternatively, it could be used as a check for juice blends that the correct pomegranate, apple and grape ratios are present, as shown in Figure 3a, which is a quantitative fit to the data which shows excellent straight-Figure 2b. UV/Vis spectrum of pure pomegranate juice. line correlation. From this fit, it is shown in Figure 3b that for unknown mixtures of the juices, the ratios can be calculated. Figure 3a. Quantitative plot of the various juice mixtures.Figure 2c. UV/Vis spectrum of pure apple juice. Figure 3b. Prediction of unknown pomegranate, apple and grape blend using the generated calibration curve.Figure 2d. UV/Vis spectrum of pure grape juice. 3
ConclusionThis work has shown that monitoring of incoming juicesdoes not need to be difficult, time consuming or expensivewith testing technologies such as DSA/TOF MS andscreening technologies such UV/Vis spectroscopy. Detectiontechnologies such as these will be essential in ensuring thatthe food and beverage products that are being importedare both safe and authentic. However it will ultimately bewhen these technologies are linked to traceability software,allowing electronic tracking from the source, that thecriminals will be dissuaded from adulterating products anddetection evolves into prevention.References1. History of Pomegranate Juice Adulteration. Michael T. Roberts (2011) Intentional and Unintentional Adulteration of Food Ingredients and Dietary Supplements. USP workshop, Baltimore, USA.2. Composition of pomegranate juice. D.A. Krueger (2012) J. AOAC Int., 95(1): 163-168.3. A rapid method to assess authenticity of “100% pure” pomegranate juices by UV/Visible spectroscopy and multivariate analysis, R. Boggia et. al. (2012) J. Food and Agric. Awaiting publication.4. Antioxidant Activity of Pomegranate Juice and Its Relationship with Phenolic Composition and Processing, M. Gil et. al. (2000) J. Agric. Food Chem. 48, 4581-4589.PerkinElmer, Inc.940 Winter StreetWaltham, MA 02451 USA P: (800) 762-4000 or(+1) 203-925-4602www.perkinelmer.comFor a complete listing of our global offices, visit www.perkinelmer.com/ContactUsCopyright ©2012, PerkinElmer, Inc. All rights reserved. PerkinElmer® is a registered trademark of PerkinElmer, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.010712A_01