Tracing the geographical origin of food

The application of multi-element and multi-isotope analysis

Simon Kelly, Karl Heaton, Jurian Hoogewerff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

472 Citations (Scopus)


The globalisation of food markets and the relative ease with which food commodities are transported through and between countries and continents, means that consumers are increasingly concerned about the origin of the foods they eat. A growing number of research articles have been published in the last 5 years detailing the use of natural abundance isotope variation and elemental concentrations as geographic 'tracers' to determine the provenance of food. These investigations exploit the systematic global variations of stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope ratios in combination with elemental concentrations, including heavy isotope variations (e.g. strontium-87) and other biogeochemical indicators. This article reviews the developments in the application of multi-isotopic and multi-element methods in the emerging field of 'Food Forensics'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-567
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Food Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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