Food adulteration and counterfeiting continues to grow as a worldwide issue of food safety and economic concern. Spices are one of the most commonly adulterated and counterfeited agricultural products in the US. Our previous study determined extensive elemental and heavy metals contamination and adulteration in spices. Many of our spice products were identified as possibly being highly adulterated or contaminated by metals. In our follow-up organic study, we focused on the organic markers and toxic organic compounds in our common spices and botanicals (black pepper and cinnamon) in various forms (i.e. spices, teas, condiments, and supplements) to determine if these products appeared to be adulterated from an organic compound standpoint as well as an elemental standpoint.
Cryogenic grinding and microwave extraction were employed in sample processing. Samples were extracted for the primary and secondary marker compounds native to each spice group and for any potentially toxic organic compounds (dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and industrial residual chemicals). The concentration and identity of compounds were compared across the groupings to cited concentration references for each marker or compound. Low concentrations of critical markers were found in low cost spice and botanical samples indicating potential adulteration. Samples that were previously suspect by ICP-MS examination were confirmed to be adulterated or economically compromised by reduced or absent concentration of these critical primary and secondary marker compounds. High levels of potentially toxic chemicals were also found in some of the previously suspect spice and spice product samples.
Click here for the complete app note ‘Identifying Counterfeiting, Adulteration & Contamination of Spices’: https://bit.ly/2Q22JZ3
You can also view our infographic for facts about spices https://bit.ly/2Cnardv