Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 969–979 | Cite as

Quantitation of Saccharin and Cyclamate in Tabletop Formulations by Portable Raman and NIR Spectrometers in Combination with Partial Least Squares Regression

  • Sanjeewa R. Karunathilaka
  • Betsy Jean Yakes
  • Samantha Farris
  • Tara Jade Michael
  • Keqin He
  • Jin Kyu Chung
  • Romina Shah
  • Magdi M. Mossoba


Rapid, direct, and reagent-free screening tools using vibrational spectroscopy in combination with partial least squares regression (PLSR) were developed for the determination of sodium saccharin and sodium cyclamate in tabletop formulations. The four vibrational spectroscopic instruments employed were a portable Raman spectrometer, a NIR handheld device, and two FT-NIR benchtop spectrometers. Wavenumber ranges and type of spectral pretreatment were optimized for each PLSR calibration model using an independent validation set. Each sweetener model provided reliable predictions (low errors in validation and r 2 above 0.90) for both saccharin and cyclamate samples. Optimized models were tested with four commercially available tabletop formulations in order to simulate the application of the developed models towards routine sweetener analysis. With the exception of one model, the sweetener concentration predictions in commercial tabletop formulations using the portable devices were not significantly different from those based on spectra collected on the benchtop spectrometers. PLSR-predicted mean sweetener concentrations were within 80–120% of the label declared values, while the sweetener without a label declaration had consistent concentrations across the analytical methods used. As shown by the good agreement between spectroscopic and chromatographic analyses, the portable spectrometers offer an alternative to traditional chromatographic methods. To our knowledge, this is the first time portable Raman and handheld NIR devices with PLSR calibration models have been employed to evaluate sweeteners, and these analytical methods hold potential to be used for rapid screening of tabletop formulations for quality assurance and for regulatory labeling verification.


Sweetener Saccharin Cyclamate Partial least squares regression (PLSR) Vibrational spectroscopy Portable devices 



SRK and SF acknowledge the support provided by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the Center for Food Safety and the Applied Nutrition, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the US Department of Energy and the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).


TJM and KH were funded by the University of Maryland Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition through a cooperative agreement with the FDA, no. FDU001418.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sanjeewa R. Karunathilaka declares that he has no conflict of interest. Betsy Jean Yakes declares that she has no conflict of interest. Samantha Farris declares that she has no conflict of interest. Tara Jade Michael declares that she has no conflict of interest. Keqin He declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jin Kyu Chung declares that he has no conflict of interest. Romina Shah declares that she has no conflict of interest. Magdi M. Mossoba declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© US Government (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjeewa R. Karunathilaka
    • 1
  • Betsy Jean Yakes
    • 1
  • Samantha Farris
    • 1
  • Tara Jade Michael
    • 2
  • Keqin He
    • 2
  • Jin Kyu Chung
    • 1
  • Romina Shah
    • 3
  • Magdi M. Mossoba
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Regulatory ScienceCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied NutritionCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Food Additive SafetyCollege ParkUSA

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