Combining isotopic signatures of n(87Sr)/n(86Sr) and light stable elements (C, N, O, S) with multi-elemental profiling for the authentication of provenance of European cereal samples

Daniel Goitom Asfaha, Christophe R. Quétel, Freddy Thomas, Micha Horacek, Bernhard Wimmer, Gerhard Heiss, Christian Dekant, Peter Deters-Itzelsberger, Stefan Hoelzl, Susanne Rummel, Christophe Brach-Papa, Marleen Van Bocxstaele, Eric Jamin, Malcolm Baxter, Katharina Heinrich, Simon Kelly, Daniela Bertoldi, Luana Bontempo, Federica Camin, Roberto LarcherMatteo Perini, Andreas Rossmann, Antje Schellenberg, Claus Schlicht, Heinz Froeschl, Jurian Hoogewerff, Henriette Ueckermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work (from the FP6 project TRACE) was to develop methods based on the use of geochemical markers for the authentication of the geographical origin of cereal samples in Europe (cf. EC regulations 2081/92 and 1898/06). For the first time, the potential usefulness of combining n(87Sr)/n(86Sr) and δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and δ34S isotopic signatures, alone or with key element concentrations ([Na], [K], [Ca], [Cu] and [Rb], progressively identified out of 31 sets of results), was investigated through multiple step multivariate statistics for more than 500 cereal samples collected over 2 years from 17 sampling sites across Europe representing an extensive range of geographical and environmental characteristics. From the classification categories compared (north/south; proximity to the Atlantic Ocean/to the Mediterranean Sea/to else; bed rock geologies) the first two were the most efficient (particularly with the ten variables selected together). In some instances element concentrations made a greater impact than the isotopic tracers. Validation of models included external prediction tests on 20% of the data randomly selected and, rarely done, a study on the robustness of these multivariate data treatments to uncertainties on measurement results. With the models tested it was possible to individualise 15 of the sampling sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

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