Geographical provenance of palm oil by fatty acid and volatile compound fingerprinting techniques.

Research paper by A A Tres, C C Ruiz-Samblas, G G van der Veer, S M SM van Ruth

Indexed on: 04 Dec '12Published on: 04 Dec '12Published in: Food Chemistry


Analytical methods are required in addition to administrative controls to verify the geographical origin of vegetable oils such as palm oil in an objective manner. In this study the application of fatty acid and volatile organic compound fingerprinting in combination with chemometrics have been applied to verify the geographical origin of crude palm oil (continental scale). For this purpose 94 crude palm oil samples were collected from South East Asia (55), South America (11) and Africa (28). Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was used to develop a hierarchical classification model by combining two consecutive binary PLS-DA models. First, a PLS-DA model was built to distinguish South East Asian from non-South East Asian palm oil samples. Then a second model was developed, only for the non-Asian samples, to discriminate African from South American crude palm oil. Models were externally validated by using them to predict the identity of new authentic samples. The fatty acid fingerprinting model revealed three misclassified samples. The volatile compound fingerprinting models showed an 88%, 100% and 100% accuracy for the South East Asian, African and American class, respectively. The verification of the geographical origin of crude palm oil is feasible by fatty acid and volatile compound fingerprinting. Further research is required to further validate the approach and to increase its spatial specificity to country/province scale.