Spectroscopic techniques for food quality analysis are limited to surface inspections and are highly affected by the superficial layers (skin or packaging material) of the food samples. The ability of spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) to obtain chemical information from below the surface of a sample makes it a promising candidate for the non-destructive analysis of the quality of packaged food. In the present study, we developed a line-scan SORS technique for obtaining the Raman spectra of packaged-food samples. This technique was used to quantify butter adulteration with margarine through two different types of packaging. Further, the significant commercial potential of the developed technique was demonstrated by its being able to discriminate between ten commercial varieties of butter and margarine whilst still in their original, unopened packaging. The results revealed that, while conventional backscattering Raman spectroscopy cannot penetrate the packaging, thus preventing its application to the quality analysis of packaged food, SORS analysis yielded excellent qualitative and quantitative analyses of butter samples. The partial least-square regression analysis predictive values for the SORS data exhibit correlation coefficient values of 0.95 and 0.92, associated with the prediction error 3.2 % and 3.9 % for cover-1 & 2, respectively. The developed system utilizes a laser line (ca. 14-cm wide) that enables the simultaneous collection of a large number of spectra from a sample. Thus, by averaging the spectra collected for a given sample, the signal-to-noise ratio of the final spectrum can be enhanced, which will then have a significant effect on the multivariate data analysis methods used for qualitative and/or qualitative analyses. This recently presented line-scan SORS technique could be applied to the development of high-throughput and real-time analysis techniques for determining the quality and authenticity various packaged agricultural products.
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This research was supported by research fund of Chungnam National University.
Compliance with ethical standards
The samples used in this study were purchased from a supermarket, and no commercial or financial relationship with the products’ brand used. Informed consent was provided by all individuals involved in this study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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