Multi-element (H,C,N,S) stable isotope ratio analysis was tested for its suitability as a means for geographical provenance assignment of lamb meat from several European regions. The defatted dry matter (crude protein fraction) from lamb meat was found to be a suitable probe for “light” element stable isotope ratio analysis. Significant differences were observed between the multi-element isotope ratios of lamb samples from different regions. The mean hydrogen isotopic ratios of the defatted dry matter from lamb were found to be significantly correlated with the mean hydrogen isotopic ratios of precipitation and groundwater in the production regions. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios were influenced by feeding practices and climate. Sulfur isotopic ratios were influenced by geographical location and surface geology of the production region. The results permitted differentiation of lamb meat, from most production regions, by inspection. However, more sophisticated evaluation of the data using multivariate methods, such as linear discriminant analysis, achieved 78% correct classification.
- geographic origin
- stable isotopes