FFC NMR relaxometry can provide important information on water content in foodstuffs. Moisture analysis in foods is important in determining the texture, quality and stability of the product as well as defining storage conditions and shelf-life. The FFC technique may indeed be used as a tool for quality control as well as a potential anti-fraud control to confirm that products conform to denomination of origin regulations (DOC, DOCG and DOP products).
FFC NMR relaxometry has been employed successfully in studies of food spoilage. The technique may become an important method for effecting fast quality controls on food and in defining shelf-life.
The figure clearly shows the difference between NMRD profiles of a spoiled and unspoiled foodstuff.
Control of origin / anti-fraud: Balsamic vinegar
Food and drink products denominated “DOC” “DOCG” or “DOP” have to meet certain criteria to gain this certification. Such products may have a high price on the market and indeed there are many fraudulent products in circulation with these labels which do not actually conform to the designated standard.
The figure shows how NMRD profiles were highly informative for characterization of the age of balsamic vinegar (TBVM). TBVM is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and its cost on the market is rather high in accordance with its ageing process.
S. Baroni, R. Consonni, G. Ferrante, S. Aime J. Agric. Food Chem. 57 (2009) 3028-3032
Water content in food: Parmesan cheese
Using FFC NMR relaxometry it is possible to control the water content in foodstuffs. This is important to determine quality of the product and shelf-life.
The figure shows a T1 distribution graphic (obtained by inversion of the relaxation data using the UPEN algorithm) of Parmesan cheese taken from parts of the crust and core. This can be related to the different water content in different parts of the cheese.