Isotope Ratio Monitoring by NMR: Part 1 – Recent Advances

  • Gérald S. Remaud
  • Patrick Giraudeau
  • Philippe Lesot
  • Serge Akoka
Reference work entry


Many physical and chemical processes in living systems are accompanied by isotopic fractionation on common atoms. The determination of isotopic abundance is therefore an unrivaled method to probe the (bio)chemical origin of natural or synthetic molecules. NMR has become a major analytical technique in stable isotope analysis, since SNIF-NMR (site-specific natural isotopic fractionation studied by nuclear magnetic resonance) was introduced by Profs. Martin and Martin in the 1980s. Renamed irm-NMR (isotopic ratio measurement by NMR), it is a major authentication tool and has been recognized as an official method to detect subtle food adulteration. It is the only generic analytical technique that can quantify each isotopomer without degradation; it therefore provides significant additional information in the many cases in which the average isotopic distribution is insufficient to differentiate samples from different origins and/or to understand (bio)synthetic pathways. In the last 30 years, irm-NMR has undergone numerous methodological developments, which have extended its field of application. In particular, its extension to 13C isotopic NMR and to anisotropic 2H NMR has widened the range of samples that can be studied. This chapter describes the general principles of irm-NMR and highlights the recent methodological developments (reference methods, pulse sequences) and the original applications stemming from these advances. Lastly, perspectives are discussed, based on some of these most recent methodological advances in NMR.


Irm-NMR Isotope ratio Isotopic abundance Isotopic composition Isotopic fractionation 2D NMR INEPT Anisotropic NMR interaction Lyotropic chiral liquid crystals Enantio-isotopomers Fatty acid methyl ester PSIA 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérald S. Remaud
    • 1
  • Patrick Giraudeau
    • 1
    • 2
  • Philippe Lesot
    • 3
    • 4
  • Serge Akoka
    • 1
  1. 1.Chimie et Interdisciplinarité: Synthèse, Analyse, Modélisation (CEISAM UMR CNRS 6230)Université de NantesNantesFrance
  2. 2.Institut Universitaire de FranceParisFrance
  3. 3.RMN en Milieu Orienté, ICMMO, UMR CNRS 8182, Université de Paris-Sud/Université Paris-SaclayOrsayFrance
  4. 4.Institut National de ChimieParisFrance

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