Topic Editors

Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece

Recent Trends and Advances in Food Authentication and Traceability

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 March 2024)
Manuscript submission deadline
30 June 2024
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22458

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food authentication, including the detection of food fraud/adulteration as well as food traceability, has been a rapidly growing field over the past two decades due to increasing public awareness regarding food quality and safety, nutrition, and health. Concerned parties include consumers, producers, and legislators.

Food authentication is the analytical process to verify that a food product is in compliance with its label description. Food fraud involves the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or packaging; or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain. Food traceability, in turn, is the analytical process to quickly and accurately trace product from ‘farm to fork’ forwards or backwards.

Numerous factors can directly influence the chemical composition of foods affecting, in turn, their organoleptic and nutritional properties, including the variety or breed, geographical origin, conditions of cultivation, pedoclimatic conditions, breeding and/or feeding, etc. Thus, the development of rapid, accurate, sensitive, and reproducible analytical methods to guarantee the authenticity and traceability of foods is of primary interest to scientists and technologists.

The aim of the present Topic entitled ‘Recent Trends and Advances in Food Authentication and Traceability’ is to bring together the most recent work of scientists and technologists on food authentication, detection of food adulteration, and food traceability. More specifically, the present Topic will cover spectroscopic methods (NIR, FTIR, UV and fluorescence spectroscopy, NMR, SNIF-NMR, IRMS, etc.), chromatographic methods (GC, GC/MS, HPLC, HPLC/MS, HPLC-IRMS, etc.), elemental analysis methods (ICP, ICP-OES,ICP-MS), advanced DNA-based detection methods for the identification of genetically modified food, as well as identification of plant and animal species in foods, advanced PCR techniques for the identification of specific food components, enzymatic techniques for the authentication of food components, enzyme immunoassays for the identification of animal species in foods, chemometrics in food analysis, proteomics and metabolomics and non-targeted fingerprinting approaches in food analysis, traceability across the supply and processing chain of foods, development and implementation of effective traceability and product recall systems, development of methods for the identification of food adulteration, legislation related to traceability, analytical techniques for food traceability such as molecular methods (e.g. DGGE, SSCP), next-generation sequencing (NGS), etc. Articles related to the latest trends in all of the above areas of interest are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Michael Kontominas
Prof. Dr. Anastasia Badeka
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • food authentication
  • food traceability
  • food fraud
  • food adulteration
  • chemometrics
  • spectroscopic methods
  • chromatographic methods
  • DNA-based detection methods
  • enzyme immunoassays

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Chemistry
chemistry
2.1 2.5 2019 19.1 Days CHF 1800 Submit
Foods
foods
5.2 5.8 2012 13.1 Days CHF 2900 Submit
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ijms
5.6 7.8 2000 16.3 Days CHF 2900 Submit
Molecules
molecules
4.6 6.7 1996 14.6 Days CHF 2700 Submit
Separations
separations
2.6 2.5 2014 13.6 Days CHF 2600 Submit

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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31 pages, 1556 KiB  
Article
Melissopalynological Analysis of Honey from French Guiana
by Weiwen Jiang, Marie-José Battesti, Yin Yang, Élodie Jean-Marie, Jean Costa, Didier Béreau, Julien Paolini and Jean-Charles Robinson
Foods 2024, 13(7), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13071073 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Beekeeping directly depends on the floral biodiversity available to honey bees. In tropical regions, where nectar and pollen resources are numerous, the botanical origin of some honey is still under discussion. A precise knowledge of plants foraged by honey bees is useful to [...] Read more.
Beekeeping directly depends on the floral biodiversity available to honey bees. In tropical regions, where nectar and pollen resources are numerous, the botanical origin of some honey is still under discussion. A precise knowledge of plants foraged by honey bees is useful to understand and certify the botanical origin of honey. In this study, attention was paid to honey samples from the French Guiana Atlantic coast where beekeepers generally place their hives in four types of biotopes: seaside vegetation, mangrove, savannah, and secondary forest. Pollen analysis of 87 honey samples enabled the identification of major plants visited by Africanized honey bees during the dry season (approximately from July to January). Through melissopalynologic analysis, 51 pollen types were identified and classified according to their relative presence. Frequently observed pollens (with relative presence > 50%) in French Guiana kinds of honey were those from Mimosa pudica, Cocos sp., Rhyncospora sp., Avicennia germinans, Paspalum sp., Spermacoce verticillata, Tapirira guianensis, Cecropia sp., Myrtaceae sp., Mauritia flexuosa sp., Solanum sp., and Protium sp. In many honeys, only M. pudica was over-represented (relative frequency > 90%). Color and electrical conductivity in French Guiana honeys exhibit significant variations, with color ranging from 27 mm to 110 mm Pfund, and electrical conductivity ranging from 0.35 to 1.22 mS/cm. Full article
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13 pages, 1235 KiB  
Article
miRNAs as Biomolecular Markers for Food Safety, Quality, and Traceability in Poultry Meat—A Preliminary Study
by Nada Baraldo, Luna Buzzoni, Luisa Pasti, Alberto Cavazzini, Nicola Marchetti and Annalaura Mancia
Molecules 2024, 29(4), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29040748 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 808
Abstract
In this study, the expression and abundance of two candidate chicken (Gallus gallus; gga) microRNAs (miRNAs, miR), gga-miR-21-5p (miR-21) and gga-miR-126-5p (miR-126), have been analyzed in order to identify biomarkers for the traceability and quality of poultry meat. Two breeds of broiler chickens [...] Read more.
In this study, the expression and abundance of two candidate chicken (Gallus gallus; gga) microRNAs (miRNAs, miR), gga-miR-21-5p (miR-21) and gga-miR-126-5p (miR-126), have been analyzed in order to identify biomarkers for the traceability and quality of poultry meat. Two breeds of broiler chickens were tested: the most common Ross308 (fast-growing) and the high-quality Ranger Gold (slow-growing). A preliminary analysis of the two miRNAs expressions was conducted across various tissues (liver, lung, spleen, skeletal muscle, and kidney), and the three tissues (lung, spleen, and muscle) with a higher expression were chosen for further analysis. Using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the expression of miRNAs in the three tissues of a total of thirteen animals was determined. The results indicate that miR-126 could be a promising biomarker for the lung tissue in the Ranger Gold (RG) breed (p < 0.01), thus suggesting a potential applicability for tracing hybrids. RG exhibits a significantly higher miR-126 expression in the lung tissue compared to the Ross308 broilers (R308), an indication of greater respiratory capacity and, consequently, a higher oxidative metabolism of the fast-growing hybrid. During sampling, two R308 broilers presented some anomalies, including airsacculitis, hepatic steatosis, and enlarged spleen. The expression of miR-126 and miR-21 was compared in healthy animals and in those presenting anomalies. Chickens with airsacculitis and hepatic steatosis showed an up-regulation of miR-21 and miR-126 in the most commercially valuable tissue, the skeletal muscle or breast (p < 0.05). Full article
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20 pages, 2702 KiB  
Review
Advances in Detection Techniques for the H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus
by Xianshu Fu, Qian Wang, Biao Ma, Biao Zhang, Kai Sun, Xiaoping Yu, Zihong Ye and Mingzhou Zhang
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417157 - 05 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Avian influenza is caused by avian influenza virus infection; the H5N1 avian influenza virus is a highly pathogenic subtype, affecting poultry and human health. Since the discovery of the highly pathogenic subtype of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, it has caused enormous losses [...] Read more.
Avian influenza is caused by avian influenza virus infection; the H5N1 avian influenza virus is a highly pathogenic subtype, affecting poultry and human health. Since the discovery of the highly pathogenic subtype of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, it has caused enormous losses to the poultry farming industry. It was recently found that the H5N1 avian influenza virus tends to spread among mammals. Therefore, early rapid detection methods are highly significant for effectively preventing the spread of H5N1. This paper discusses the detection technologies used in the detection of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, including serological detection technology, immunological detection technology, molecular biology detection technology, genetic detection technology, and biosensors. Comparisons of these detection technologies were analyzed, aiming to provide some recommendations for the detection of the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Full article
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16 pages, 1934 KiB  
Article
Application of Microsatellites to Trace the Dairy Products Back to the Farm of Origin
by Simona Perga, Cristina Biolatti, Isabella Martini, Francesco Rossi, Alfredo Benso, Pier Luigi Acutis, Alessandro Bagnato, Domenico Cognata, Piero Caroggio, Simone Peletto and Paola Modesto
Foods 2023, 12(22), 4131; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12224131 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 684
Abstract
The increasing number of food frauds, mainly targeting high quality products, is a rising concern among producers and authorities appointed to food controls. Therefore, the development or implementation of methods to reveal frauds is desired. The genetic traceability of traditional or high-quality dairy [...] Read more.
The increasing number of food frauds, mainly targeting high quality products, is a rising concern among producers and authorities appointed to food controls. Therefore, the development or implementation of methods to reveal frauds is desired. The genetic traceability of traditional or high-quality dairy products (i.e., products of protected designation of origin, PDO) represents a challenging issue due to the technical problems that arise. The aim of the study was to set up a genetic tool for the origin traceability of dairy products. We investigated the use of Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) to assign milk and cheese to the corresponding producer. Two farms were included in the study, and the blood of the cows, bulk milk, and derived cheese were sampled monthly for one year. Twenty STRs were selected and Polymerase Chain Reactions for each locus were carried out. The results showed that bulk milk and derived cheese express an STR profile composed of a subset of STRs of the lactating animals. A bioinformatics tool was used for the exclusion analysis. The study allowed the identification of a panel of 20 markers useful for the traceability of milk and cheeses, and its effectiveness in the traceability of dairy products obtained from small producers was demonstrated. Full article
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17 pages, 2369 KiB  
Article
Investigation Tracing the Origin of Tan Sheep Visceral Tissues through Mineral Elements
by Yanru Hou, Xuerong Wang, Dongsong Yang, Yulong Luo, Yalei Li and Ruiming Luo
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2438; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132438 - 21 Jun 2023
Viewed by 708
Abstract
The traceability of quality mineral fingerprints in the viscera of Tan sheep from northwest China was studied. Twenty-five mineral elements in the heart and liver samples of Tan sheep were determined using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), and the characteristics of [...] Read more.
The traceability of quality mineral fingerprints in the viscera of Tan sheep from northwest China was studied. Twenty-five mineral elements in the heart and liver samples of Tan sheep were determined using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), and the characteristics of the mineral elements in the visceral tissues of the Tan sheep were further analyzed in combination with a principal component analysis (PCA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to establish a discriminant model and verify it. The results show that 11 elements (137Ba, 43Ca, 63Cu, 56Fe, 39K, 31P, 60Ni, 78Se, 118Sn, 125Te, and 66Zn) in the Tan sheep heart samples had significant differences among different regions (p < 0.05), and the results of the LDA show that the accuracy rate of the return-generation examination was 85.70%, and the accuracy rate of the hand-over-fork examination was 87.50%; 10 elements (111Cd, 59Co, 52Cr, 56Fe, 39K, 55Mn, 95Mo, 23Na, 121Sb, and 78Se) in the Tan sheep liver samples had significant differences among different regions (p < 0.05), and the results of the LDA showed that the accuracy rate of the return-generation examination was 96.30%, and the accuracy rate of the hand-over-fork examination was 86.25%. This indicates that the multi-element analysis has potential for determining the origin of Tan sheep viscera in certain regions. Full article
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20 pages, 2580 KiB  
Article
An Ethereum-Based Distributed Application for Enhancing Food Supply Chain Traceability
by Evripidis P. Kechagias, Sotiris P. Gayialis, Georgios A. Papadopoulos and Georgios Papoutsis
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061220 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5367
Abstract
In today’s era, humanity has been overwhelmed by technological revolutions that have changed and will continue to change how business operations are performed, directly or indirectly. At the same time, the processes within the supply chain are quite complex, and as technology and [...] Read more.
In today’s era, humanity has been overwhelmed by technological revolutions that have changed and will continue to change how business operations are performed, directly or indirectly. At the same time, the processes within the supply chain are quite complex, and as technology and processes evolve, they become more and more challenging. Traceability has become a critical issue in the food industry to ensure safety, quality, and compliance with regulations. The adoption of blockchain technology in the food supply chain has gained significant attention as a potential solution to improve traceability. This paper presents the development of a distributed application for table olives’ traceability on the Ethereum network. The paper also presents a methodological framework, which can help anyone aiming to implement an Ethereum decentralized application and demonstrates the practical use of the developed application by a Greek table olives producer. The application significantly improved the producer’s product traceability by providing a secure, transparent, and efficient solution for tracking and tracing the products in the supply chain. The app reduced the time, increased the accuracy and reliability of data, improved supply chain efficiency, and helped the producer comply with international regulations and standards. Full article
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17 pages, 879 KiB  
Review
Derivatization Strategies in Flavor Analysis: An Overview over the Wine and Beer Scenario
by Maurizio Piergiovanni and Veronica Termopoli
Chemistry 2022, 4(4), 1679-1695; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemistry4040109 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2000
Abstract
Wine and beer are the most appreciated and consumed beverages in the world. This success is mainly due to their characteristic taste, smell, and aroma, which can delight consumer’s palates. These olfactory characteristics are produced from specific classes of volatile compounds called “volatile [...] Read more.
Wine and beer are the most appreciated and consumed beverages in the world. This success is mainly due to their characteristic taste, smell, and aroma, which can delight consumer’s palates. These olfactory characteristics are produced from specific classes of volatile compounds called “volatile odor-active compounds” linked to different factors such as age and production. Given the vast market of drinking beverages, the characterization of these odor compounds is increasingly important. However, the chemical complexity of these beverages has led the scientific community to develop several analytical techniques for extracting and quantifying these molecules. Even though the recent “green-oriented” trend is directed towards direct preparation-free procedures, for some class of analytes a conventional step like derivatization is unavoidable. This review is a snapshot of the most used derivatization strategies developed in the last 15 years for VOAs’ determination in wine and beer, the most consumed fermented beverages worldwide and among the most complex ones. A comprehensive overview is provided for every method, whereas pros and cons are critically analyzed and discussed. Emphasis was given to miniaturized methods which are more consistent with the principles of “green analytical chemistry”. Full article
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11 pages, 1660 KiB  
Article
Authenticity Assessment from Sesame Seeds to Oil and Sesame Products of Various Origin by Differential Scanning Calorimetry
by Yolanda Victoria Rajagukguk, Mert Atakan Utcu, Mahbuba Islam, Małgorzata Muzolf-Panek and Jolanta Tomaszewska-Gras
Molecules 2022, 27(21), 7496; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27217496 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
The aim of this study was to conduct thermal characterization of sesame seeds and oils from various geographical origins (Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Sudan, Turkey), different method of extraction (hexane and cold-pressing), and different types of derived products (halva and tahini). Thermal characterization was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to conduct thermal characterization of sesame seeds and oils from various geographical origins (Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Sudan, Turkey), different method of extraction (hexane and cold-pressing), and different types of derived products (halva and tahini). Thermal characterization was investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), which showed that origin of the seeds has no influence on the melting profile of sesame oil (peak temperature and enthalpy). Method of extraction (hexane and cold-pressing) influenced the peak temperatures of the resulting oils (p ≤ 0.05). The addition of 20% of palm olein to pure sesame oil influenced the significant changes in thermodynamic parameters such as peak temperature (Tm2), which was lowered from −5.89 °C to −4.99 °C, peak half width (T1/2), elevated from 3.01 °C to 4.52 °C, and the percentage of first peak area (% peak 1) lowered from 87.9 to 73.2% (p ≤ 0.05). The PCA method enabled to distinguish authentic and adulterated sesame oils of various origins. There were no significant differences in thermal properties among the products (halva, tahini) and the authentic sesame oil (p > 0.05). The obtained results showed DSC feasibility to characterize sesame oil and sesame products in terms of authenticity. Full article
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15 pages, 2513 KiB  
Article
Elemental Fingerprinting of Wild and Farmed Fish Muscle to Authenticate and Validate Production Method
by Renato Mamede, Irina A. Duarte, Isabel Caçador, Patrick Reis-Santos, Rita P. Vasconcelos, Carla Gameiro, Paula Canada, Pedro Ré, Susanne E. Tanner, Vanessa F. Fonseca and Bernardo Duarte
Foods 2022, 11(19), 3081; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11193081 - 04 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1719
Abstract
In the context of expanding fish production and complex distribution chains, traceability, provenance and food safety tools are becoming increasingly important. Here, we compare the elemental fingerprints of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) muscle from wild and different aquaculture productions (semi-intensive earth [...] Read more.
In the context of expanding fish production and complex distribution chains, traceability, provenance and food safety tools are becoming increasingly important. Here, we compare the elemental fingerprints of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) muscle from wild and different aquaculture productions (semi-intensive earth ponds and intensive sea cages from two locations) to confirm their origin and evaluate the concentrations of elements with regulatory thresholds (Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn). Using a chemometric approach based on multi-elemental signatures, the sample origin was determined with an overall accuracy of 90%. Furthermore, in a model built to replicate a real-case scenario where it would be necessary to trace the production method of S. aurata without reliable information about its harvesting location, 27 of the 30 samples were correctly allocated to their original production method (sea-cage aquaculture), despite being from another location. The concentrations of the regulated elements ranged as follows: Cu (0.140–1.139 mg/Kg), Hg (0–0.506 mg/Kg), Pb (0–2.703 mg/Kg) and Zn (6.502–18.807 mg/Kg), with only Pb presenting concentrations consistently above the recommended limit for human consumption. The present findings contribute to establishing elemental fingerprinting as a reliable tool to trace fish production methods and underpin seafood authentication. Full article
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20 pages, 1371 KiB  
Article
Characterization and Differentiation of Fresh Orange Juice Variety Based on Conventional Physicochemical Parameters, Flavonoids, and Volatile Compounds Using Chemometrics
by Maria V. Vavoura, Ioannis K. Karabagias, Ioanna S. Kosma, Anastasia V. Badeka and Michael G. Kontominas
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6166; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196166 - 20 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
The present study focused on the possibility of differentiating fresh-unprocessed orange juice according to botanical origin (variety), based on the use of conventional physico-chemical parameters, flavonoids, and volatile compounds, in combination with chemometrics. For this purpose, oranges from seven different varieties were collected [...] Read more.
The present study focused on the possibility of differentiating fresh-unprocessed orange juice according to botanical origin (variety), based on the use of conventional physico-chemical parameters, flavonoids, and volatile compounds, in combination with chemometrics. For this purpose, oranges from seven different varieties were collected during the harvest years of 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 from central and southern Greece. The physico-chemical parameters that were determined included: electrical conductivity, acidity, pH, and total soluble solids. The flavonoids: hesperidin, neohespseridin, quercetin, naringin, and naringenin were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD). Finally, volatile compounds were determined using headspace solid-phase micro-extraction in combination with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME/GC-MS). Statistical treatment of data by multivariate techniques showed that orange juice variety had a significant (p < 0.05) impact on the above analytical parameters. The classification rate for the differentiation of orange juice according to orange variety using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was 89.3%, based on the cross-validation method. Full article
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10 pages, 2161 KiB  
Article
An Easy and Reliable Method for the Mitigation of Deuterated Chloroform Decomposition to Stabilise Susceptible NMR Samples
by Jan Teipel, Vera Gottstein, Eva Hölzle, Katja Kaltenbach, Dirk W. Lachenmeier and Thomas Kuballa
Chemistry 2022, 4(3), 776-785; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemistry4030055 - 02 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3635
Abstract
Highly reactive decomposition products of deuterated chloroform can deteriorate samples dissolved in this commonly used solvent for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Samples for metabolomics studies often contain a complex mixture of sensitive substances such as phospholipids, peptides, unsaturated fatty acids or vitamins. [...] Read more.
Highly reactive decomposition products of deuterated chloroform can deteriorate samples dissolved in this commonly used solvent for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Samples for metabolomics studies often contain a complex mixture of sensitive substances such as phospholipids, peptides, unsaturated fatty acids or vitamins. If these react with decomposition products (of chloroform), abnormal NMR spectra could result, e.g., signal shifts depending on pH, attenuation of signals over time due to chemical changes of analytes or new signals from reaction products. Such irreproducibly influenced spectra are especially problematic for non-targeted analysis methods using automated chemometrical data evaluation. To prevent these artefacts, chlorine, phosgene and hydrochloric acid need to be eliminated from deuterated chloroform before its use. Since the common stabilisation methods have proven to be insufficient for sensitive NMR samples, another purging method has been tested: Mitigation is easily and reliably achieved by washing the deuterated chloroform with concentrated disodium carbonate solution and subsequent desiccation with oven-dried disodium carbonate. Full article
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