Testing the authenticity of food products by 2010 Geno/Grinder


Food fraud is a global issue with a long history. With the complexity of global food supply systems expanding, false food labelling has become an ever-increasing problem.

People are becoming more aware of, and worried about, how and where their food is produced.Products are created. Suppliers are taking a more active role in safeguarding their brand’s reputation. Consistency with labelling claims for geographical origin and/or production technique of food and food products can be proven using Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis (SIRA). We can help defend the interests of consumers, suppliers, and producers by employing this strategy.


When samples were received, they were processed using pre-determined procedures based on the type of product. The primary goal is to convert a food product, such as a chicken breast or an apple, into a dry, homogeneous powder that can be examined using Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS). Five grammes of freeze-dried samples were placed in six 40mL tubes, each containing ten milliliter’s of 7mm agate balls. The samples were next milled into a fine homogeneous power using the SPEX SamplePrep 1600 MiniG®. The powder was then precisely weighed into the small (5 mg) aliquot needed for IRMS analysis.



The results of SIRA of the food product were tested for consistency to a database of authentic samples to establish a geographical origin and production methods such as organic, free range and corn fed. Isotope ratios measured and analyzed include carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N), sulfur (δ34S), hydrogen (δ2H) and oxygen (δ18O). By combining the information acquired for each isotopic system using multivariate techniques, we were able to distinguish the difference between populations (i.e., UK and Non-UK). This produced evidence based intelligence that helped producers, suppliers and customers maintain confidence in the authenticity of the test product.



The SPEX SamplePrep MiniG® plays a crucial role at Food Forensic Ltd for the sample preparation of food products for IRMS analysis. It enabled high throughput of samples and produced the fine and homogenous powders required for this application.

Typical samples include:

 Animal tissue, Plant Tissue, Cell cultures, Fruit, Cannabis, Seeds, Yeast and Bacteria. 

Applications include: 

Tissue Homogenization, DNA/RNA Research and extraction, Cell Lysis, Pesticide Residue Extraction, Protein & Metabolite Extraction, Biofuel research and QuEChERS.


  • Automated mechanical disruption through bead beating, ideal for high-throughput cell lysis applications including DNA/ RNA extraction, protein extraction and pesticide residue analysis. 
  • Programmable touch screen control panel for run time, rate, cycles and pause time.  Up to 500 protocols can be saved for recall.
  • Designed for vigorous up-and-down shaking of deep-well titer plates, vial sets, and centrifuge tubes.
  • Optional Kryo-Tech® Accessories enable cryogenic grinding and preserve temperature sensitive samples for RNA and protein extractions.
  • Comes with an adjustable clamp with a quick release button that allows users to secure vials or titer plates of various sizes.
  • Typical sample processing time of 1-2 minutes.

The Geno/Grinder enables increased throughput, improved extraction efficiency and reproducibility over traditional sample preparation methods. A full range of pre-loaded sample vials for different sample types is also available for fast and simple set up.

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