Products tested

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables Fruits and vegetables Fruits and vegetables

Why test it?

Fruit and vegetables are an integral part of our daily needs. Ideally, they should be healthy, inexpensive and fresh. Consumers also have an emotional connection with these goods and value certain characteristics such as regionality and/or organic farming. Not only are those indicators of a high quality of these goods, but also consumers are more and more aware that choosing local supply with short transport routes can make a difference when it comes to a sustainable economy

Imprint Analytics has years of experience with origin verification and can draw on extensive industry knowledge, especially for fruits and vegetables. In the analysis, we follow a unique approach with multi-variable fingerprints , which lead to reliable results. This is followed by a multidisciplinary evaluation that incorporates not only the analytics but also the in-house know-how and important additional information. Even after the report has been submitted, we are available to provide substantial support and advice.

Consumers prefer to buy regional products or tend to opt for certain provenance for reasons such as sustainability and regionality. For most types of fresh fruit and vegetables, the producers and traders must declare clearly the country of origin. In order to add value to fruits and vegetables, mislabeling and smuggling of goods is very common. So, how can someone be sure to really get what they intend to buy? How is it possible to establish and maintain consumer trust when manipulation can be very diverse and goes beyond false information about the origin of a product? Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) can help answer questions about the geographic origin and authenticity of fruits and vegetables at all points of the supply chain.

By determining and interpreting the stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen of any fruit or vegetable, the so-called isotope fingerprint (consisting of all five ratios) is established which is characteristic for the sample and can be compared to reference data from reference samples from different regions or to a data base. To achieve high geographical resolution and credible results, we use our global database, as well as our expertise and know-how to provide advanced customized origin testing by including more parameters. Any information on the samples such as suspected (not declared) origin, farming style, etc. is helpful.

In some cases it can be of interest if a sample comes from a certain batch. Unknown factors of differentiation, for example different qualities of lots and sublots can be addressed by untargeted fingerprinting of the products with one or more analytical methods of our portfolio, in order to identify differences and provide useful information for further investigation of such inconsistencies.

Isotope analysis plays a decisive role when it comes to traceability of batches in the areas of production, import and export. With retained samples, the identity of products can be verified independently of documents – a control sample is directly compared with an original reference sample, providing strong evidence of authenticity.

Analysis of stable isotopes can serve as an attractive method for the analytical assurance of organic products. Organic products are not allowed to be treated with pesticides and certain fertilizers. The isotopic ratios of the bio-elements are influenced by the production of the plants and can therefore serve as an indicator of biological or conventional cultivation in plants (e.g. detect the use of synthetically produced N fertilizers). In most cases, the examination of one isotope is not sufficient. The evaluation must be adapted to the respective product and the growing region.

Fraudsters can mix fruit and vegetable pulps with other (cheaper) plants to maximize profit. In order to detect such a (partial) substitution of the named ingredient by another botanical material, identification of the present species is an important supporting analytical method of choice. 

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