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The isotopic methods have shown to be a major tool for checking the compliance of food products with national and international regulations. The technological progress of the last years has led to an increased use of hyphenated techniques for the measurement of the isotopic ratios with isotopic ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) as for instance continuous flow elemental analyser (EA-IRMS), pyrolyzer (Py-IRMS) or gas chromatography (GC-IRMS). Nuclear magnetic resonance of deuterium ({2}H-NMR) has also demonstrated to be very useful for site-specific characterization of organic molecules. This paper does not aim at being an exhaustive review of the applications of isotopic techniques in food analysis, but to present the basics of isotope fractionation in plants and the analytic techniques used for the determination of isotope ratios as a tool for checking authenticity of beverages.

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Authors: RENIERO F, JRC, IHCP, Ispra (IT);GUILLOU C, JRC, IHCP, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Imbottigliamento, November 2001, pp.2-7
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