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29 May 2013 Spectroscopy methods for identifying the country of origin
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There is a need in many industries and government functions to identify the source of origin for various materials. For example, the food industry needs to ensure that the claimed source of some of the food products (e.g. coffee, spices) are in fact legitimate due to the variation of quality from different source locations world-wide. Another example is to identify the source country for imported commodities going through Customs so as to assess the correct tariff which varies depending on the source country. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) holds promise for being a field-portable tool for rapid identification of the country of origin of various materials. Recent research at Towson University has identified the elemental markers needed for discrimination of select spices back to their country of origin using wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF). The WDXRF device, however, is not particularly suitable for convenient and fast field analysis. We are extending this study to evaluate the potential of a benchtop commercial LIBS device that could be located at ports of entry and to compare its performance with WDXRF. Our initial study on the spice cumin has demonstrated that discriminant function models can not only be created with 100% separation between the 4 countries of origin (China, India, Syria, and Turkey), but also when tested they show 100% correct matching to the country of origin. This study adds to the growing number of publications that indicate the power of LIBS elemental fingerprinting for provenance determinations.
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Ellen Hondrogiannis, Erin Ehrlinger, and Andrzej W. Miziolek "Spectroscopy methods for identifying the country of origin", Proc. SPIE 8726, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies VI, 87260Q (29 May 2013);

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