Authentication of saffron using 60 MHz 1H NMR spectroscopy

Yvonne Gunning, Kate S. Davies, E. Kate Kemsley

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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60 MHz proton NMR spectroscopy was used to analyse extracts from saffron spice and a range of potential adulterants and mixtures. Using a simple extraction procedure, good quality spectra were obtained which contain peaks from the characteristic metabolites picrocrocin and crocins, fatty acids and kaempferol. The spectra of samples from trusted suppliers were used to train one-class classification models by SIMCA, nearest neighbour and isolation forest methods. Applying these to spectra of saffron samples purchased from the online marketplace, it was found that 7 out of 33 samples were highly anomalous. From comparison with the spectra of known mixtures and confirmatory spectral analysis using 600 MHz NMR, it is probable that these contain considerable amounts of undisclosed foreign matter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134649
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue numberPart B
Early online date18 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2023


  • Adulteration
  • Anomaly
  • Norwich
  • Benchtop
  • NMR
  • Outlier
  • Saffron
  • Spectroscopy

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