Section of Food Chemistry

Ringsted, Denmark

Section of Food Chemistry

Ringsted, Denmark

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Ballin N.Z.,Section of Food Chemistry | Sorensen A.T.,Section of Food Chemistry
Food Control | Year: 2014

Coumarin is a hepatotoxic natural compound found in different Cinnamomum species such as Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum loureiroi, and Cinnamomum burmannii; all commonly referred to as cassia. Cassia contains high amounts of coumarin in contrast to the more expensive and less used Cinnamomum verum, referred to as true cinnamon. Today, many commercially available food products are spiced with cassia and consequently contain coumarin. The content of coumarin in specific food categories is regulated in the European Regulation (EC) No 1334/2008. In this study, 74 food samples labeled with cinnamon were analyzed with a validated UPLC-PDA method. The analyzed content of coumarin was compared to the EU limits. The comparison showed that fine bakery ware exceeded the EU limit for coumarin in almost 50% of the cases. One sample exceeded the EU limit for coumarin with more than a factor of three. A possible explanation for this exceedance is that manufacturers of food with cinnamon lack information about the regulatory EU limits for coumarin and how to comply with the EU regulation. As an addendum, we therefore propose a practical guide to the food industry and the national food administrations. The guide describes the theoretical content of cassia that can be added to food products without exceeding the EU limits for coumarin in 99% of lots produced. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Ballin N.Z.,Section of Food Chemistry | Mikkelsen K.,Section of Food Chemistry
Food Control | Year: 2016

A dramatic peak in reported cases of pine mouth or pine nut syndrome (PNS) was observed in Europe and in the United States of America in 2008-2012. The PNS symptoms involve a constant bitter and/or metallic taste that appear 1-2 days after ingestion and disappear within 5-14 days. The chemical compound responsible for the symptoms is unknown, but symptoms are related to ingestion of pine nuts from the species Pinus armandii. P. armandii used industrially for non-food purposes has entered the food chain through mislabeling. Consequently, species determination of pine nuts has gained focus in governmental control of food authenticity. In this study, a PCR primer design targeted conserved DNA sequences that span an area of variation between P. armandii and other relevant species. Principal component analysis (PCA) of high-resolution melting curves from PCR amplicons was used to cluster pine species from reference material, and to determine the species of unknown samples. The PCA successfully clustered 2 subspecies/varieties of P. armandii, Pinus bungeana, Pinus massoniana, Pinus pinea, and Pinus wallichiana. Pinus koraiensis/. Pinus pumila and Pinus sibirica/Pinus cembra had identical PCR amplicons, respectively, and formed 2 distinct clusters. 12 pine nuts from 4 unknown samples were analyzed. 10 pine nuts clustered together with P. armandii and P. koraiensis/. P. pumila. 2 pine nuts were not part of clusters, but probabilities suggested P. armandii, and P. sibirica/P. cembra. These determined species were comparable to external results obtained elsewhere. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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