Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Purdue Food Scientists Improve Testing Of Health Supplements

Date:
September 5, 2003
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Purdue University researchers have discovered a faster, less expensive method to test the quality and purity of dietary supplement oils, such as flax seed, borage seed and grape seed oil, often touted as cures for many human maladies.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University researchers have discovered a faster, less expensive method to test the quality and purity of dietary supplement oils, such as flax seed, borage seed and grape seed oil, often touted as cures for many human maladies.

Related Articles


The research results are published in the September issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and on the journal's Web site at http://pubs.acs.org/journals/jafcau/index.html.

"This study brings analytical chemistry, food science, nutritional sciences and consumer interest together," said Lisa Mauer, assistant professor of food science. "Consumers want the salad dressing brand they buy to taste the same every time. The same is true for special types of oils, which are more expensive than a general cooking oil. You expect what you buy to be high quality and contain what is on the label."

Consumers are concerned about purity because of taste, safety, health benefits and cost, she said. While oils that are less pure may be less expensive, they may lose the flavor or health benefits, and some can even be detrimental to health. In addition, consumer demand for food and food additives is increasingly for organic or 100 percent natural products.

Manufacturers of health supplements and drugs are concerned with purity because of quality control issues that impact safety of the substances and company economics.

To address these concerns, scientists search for fast, effective, inexpensive ways of differentiating between different ingredients - in this case dietary supplement oils.

Purdue researchers used infrared spectroscopy and statistical analysis to classify samples of 14 dietary supplement oils and five common food oils. The scientists profiled the chemical makeup of at least two different brands of each.

First, pure oil samples were tested to determine how well the spectroscopy method, called Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), could differentiate between each one. Then they mixed various amounts of each cooking oil with one of the dietary oils and tested to determine if FT-IR could identify the amounts of individual oils in the compounds.

FT-IR uses wavelengths of light to identify types of chemical bonds. Each type of molecule absorbs light differently, producing a spectrum. Scientists use this spectral information to identify the compound, much the way a fingerprint can identify a person.

"We wanted to see how good FT-IR and common chemical measurement analyses are at differentiating real-world whole samples instead of just one component," Mauer said. "This is the first time this method has been used to differentiate a whole spectrum of food samples, such as the 19 oils used in the study, instead of only comparing two sample types."

Conventional methods for ensuring the makeup of dietary and special use oils are time-consuming, she said. They involve multiple preparation steps and analysis, which take as much as several hours, after the sample preparation and initial analysis are complete. This painstaking process makes traditional purity tests expensive. The FT-IR method took only five minutes once the analytical procedure had been developed.

Many food and pharmaceutical companies already own FT-IR equipment, so there would be no additional cost of using the new purity testing.

In their research, the Purdue scientists tested oil mixtures that had 2 percent to 20 percent by volume of common food oils.

The researchers found that the FT-IR method could identify the adulteration down to 2 percent. They picked this range because food manufacturers have said those are the levels they need to know for quality control of oil mixtures, Mauer said.

The dietary supplement oils tested were almond, apricot kernel, black currant, borage, cod liver, evening primrose, flax seed, grape seed, hazelnut, hemp seed, macadamia nut, olive, pumpkin seed and wheat germ oils. The common food oils were canola, corn, peanut, soybean and sunflower.

Though they didn't test for adulteration levels of oils that would cause allergic reactions in people, such as those allergic to peanut products, Mauer said the study indicated that the method likely could detect lower levels of various oils. Other studies have shown that FT-IR can be used to identify the region where the oil-producing plant was grown and the variety of plant from which it came.

"It's interesting to see that some of the oils, such as canola oil and pumpkin seed oil or hazelnut oil and olive oil, are structurally so similar," Mauer said. "It's based on the fatty acid composition. But while you see dietary claims related to pumpkin seed oil, I don't know of any canola oil being sold in capsules for health purposes."

The other researchers involved with this study were Banu Ozen, postdoctoral fellow, and Ilan Weiss, graduate research assistant, both of the Department of Food Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Purdue Food Scientists Improve Testing Of Health Supplements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030905072533.htm>.
Purdue University. (2003, September 5). Purdue Food Scientists Improve Testing Of Health Supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030905072533.htm
Purdue University. "Purdue Food Scientists Improve Testing Of Health Supplements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030905072533.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins