Sunday, June 26, 2011
Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom, 2011 Jul 30;25(14):1929-32
The carbon and nitrogen stable ratios of royal jelly (RJ) samples from various origins are determined using an elemental analyser linked online to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to evaluate authenticity and adulteration.
The (13) C/(12) C and (15) N/(14) N stable isotope ratios are measured in more than 500 RJs (domestic, imported and derived from feeding experiments) in order to obtain isotopic measurements that take into account seasonal, botanical and geographical effects.
Authenticity intervals are established for traditional beekeeping practices, without feeding, in the range -22.48 to -27.90‰ for δ(13) C. For these samples, the δ(15) N values range from -1.58 to 7.98‰, depending on the plant sources of pollen and nectar. The δ(13) C values of the commercial samples vary from -18.54 to -26.58‰. High δ(13) C values are typical of sugar cane or corn syrups which have distinctive isotopic (13) C signatures because both plants use the C4 photosynthetic cycle, in contrast to most RJs which are derived from C3 plants.
These differences in the (13) C-isotopic composition allow the detection of the addition of such sugars.
RJs from traditional sources and from industrial production by sugar feeding are thus successfully distinguished.