Development of purity criteria for edible vegetable oils

  • J. B. Rossell


At the time that this work started, in 1980, there were several large and important international problems concerning edible oil purity and authenticity, such as a problem of cottonseed adulteration with palm oil. It is claimed that a Singapore dealer had secured a contract with the Egyptian government to supply a large quantity of cottonseed oil in two lots. He obtained his cottonseed oil from Australia, but there was a slight shortfall in the quantity and he therefore bulked out the cottonseed oil with a small amount of palm olein, the liquid fraction from palm oil. This went unnoticed and, as a consequence, when the time came for a further delivery, he used a much larger quantity of palm olein. This time the deceit was detected. If he had been successful in this enterprise he would have netted an additional US$14 million in illegal profit. There were other problems of oil purity being faced or suspected by the trade in 1980. Palm oil was fractionated into hard and soft fractions in order to secure advantages of the Malaysian tax and duty structure, which favoured local industry. However, the Western world wished to purchase whole palm oil, and Singapore dealers therefore purchased the palm fractions from Malaysia and recombined them for export to Europe and North America. Unfortunately, the blending was seldom in the same proportions as when the fractions had first been generated and the quality of the ‘palm oil’ therefore varied considerably.


Erucic Acid Iodine Value Palm Olein Palm Stearin Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Braunsdorf, R., Hener, U., Przibilla, G. et al. (1993) Analytische und Technologische Einflusse auf das 13C/12C Isotopenverhaltnis von Orangen oil-Komponenten. Lebensmittelunters, und Forsch., 197, 24–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brause, A. R. and Raterman, J. M. (1982) Verification of authenticity of apple juice. J. Assoc. off Analyt. Chem., 65 (4), 846.Google Scholar
  3. Brause, A. R., Raterman, J. M., Petrus, D. R. and Doner, L.W. (1984) Verification of authenticity of orange juice J. Assoc. Off. Analyt. Chem., 67 (3), 5359.Google Scholar
  4. Bricout, J. and Koziet, J. (1987) Control of authenticity of orange juice by isotopic analysis J. Agric. Food Chem., 35, 758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Codex (1983) Codex Standard for Edible Fats and Oils — Supplement 1 to Codex Alimentarius Volume XI. Codex Stan 21–1981.Google Scholar
  6. Codex (1993) Codex Alimentarius Alinorm 95–17 — Report on the Fourteenth Session of the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils held London, September 1993.Google Scholar
  7. Craig, H. (1957) Geochim. cosmochim Acta, 12, 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gaffney, J., Irsa, A., Friedman, L. and Emken, E. (1979). 13C/12C analysis of vegetable oils, starches, proteins, and soy-meat mixtures. J. Agric. Food Chem., 27, 475–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guarino, P. A. (1982) Isolation of vanilla extract for stable carbon isotope analysis: inter-laboratory study. J. Assoc. off. Analyt. Chem., 65, 835.Google Scholar
  10. IUPAC (1987) IUPAC Standard Methods for the Analysis of Oils, Fats and Derivatives, 7th Edn, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and London.Google Scholar
  11. Lee, H. S. and Wrolstad, R. E. (1988) Stable isotopic carbon composition of apples and their subfractions — juice, seeds, sugars and non-volatile acids. J. Assoc. Off. Analyt. Chem., 71, 795.Google Scholar
  12. McGaw, B. A., Milne, E. and Duncan, G. J. (1988) A rapid method for the preparation of combustion samples for stable carbon isotope analysis by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Biomedical and Environmental Mass Spectrometry, 16, 269–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pollard, A. M. (1993) Tales told by dry bones. Chemy Ind., 359–62.Google Scholar
  14. Rossell, J. B. (1994) Stable carbon isotope ratios in establishing maize oil purity. Fat Sci. Technol., 96, 304.Google Scholar
  15. Rossell, J. B., King, B. and Downes, M. J. (1983) Detection of adulteration. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 60, 333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rossell, J. B., King, B. and Downes, M. J. (1985) Composition of oil. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 62, 221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schmid, E. R., Grundman, H. and Fogy, I. (1981) Determination of isotope ratios and their application to food analysis. Ernahrung, 10, 459.Google Scholar
  18. Sofer, Z. (1980) Preparation of carbon dioxide for stable isotope analysis of petroleum fractions. Analyt. Chem., 52, 1389–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Thompson, J. N. and Hatina, G. (1979) J. Liquid Chromatogr., 2, 327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. van der Merwe, N. J. (1992) New developments in archeological science, in Proceedings of the British Academy, 77, 247–64.Google Scholar
  21. Winkler, F. J. and Schmidt, H. L. (1980) Possible application of carbon-13 isotopic mass-spectrometry in food analysis. Z. Lebensmittelunters, und Forsch., 171, 85–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Woodbury, S. E., Evershed, R. P., Rossell, J. B. et al. (1995) Detection of vegetable oil adulteration using gas chromatography combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 67, 2685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. B. Rossell

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations