“Spectral database for postage stamps by means of FT-IR spectroscopy” by Eleonora Imperio, Gabriele Giancane and Ludovico Valli will be of great interest. As well as helping to detect forgeries, FT-IR has been used to create a database which also charts the history of the technology used to create stamps. Quite rightly, they are considered by many to be works of art.
“Emerging sampling approaches for Raman analysis of foods” by Nils Kristian Afseth, Matthew Bloomfield, Jens Petter Wold and Pavel Matousek describes how a number of instrumental developments are enabling Raman spectroscopy to find increasing applications in food analysis. They show how Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) is being used to analyse quality parameters in salmon, including the content of fat, its fat composition and the content of carotenoids. Traditionally, the preserve of NIR spectroscopy, Raman may increasingly be used for the analysis of food and other biological matrices.
“Membrane inlet mass spectrometry for in situ environmental monitoring” by Simon Maher, Fred Jjunju, Iain Young, Boris Brkic and Stephen Taylor looks at a technique that is 50 years old but is now being applied for field analysis. As well as a brief overview of the technique, they show how it can be used to monitor oil-in-water levels before discharge from oil termini.
Malvina G. Orkoulaa and Christos G. Kontoyannisa,b
aDepartment of Pharmacy, University of Patras, Rio-Patras, Greece. E-mail: [email protected]
bICE-HT/FORTH, PO Box 1414, University Campus, Rio-Patras, Greece
The authors give us a “Review of nanoscale infrared spectroscopy applications to energy related materials”. Fuel cells, photovoltaics and specialised polymers for fracking are all considered.
Mathieu Duval raises the question “Dating fossil teeth by electron paramagnetic resonance: how is that possible?”. Whilst we are all familiar with 14C dating, the use of EPR is less well known. In fact, there are less than 10 laboratories in the world able to carry out EPR dating of fossil teeth!
“From lake ecology to biofuels—applications of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to algal research” is the topic of Andrew Dean, Jon Pittman and David Sigee. Algae are essential for our continued live on Earth, and FT-IR spectroscopy can increase our understanding of their physiology and biotech potential.
Sotiris Stasinos and Ioannis Zabetakis have used ICP-MS to investigate the cross-contamination of food crops by heavy metals in ground or irrigation water. They show that this can occur easily in certain crops, which has serious health consequences for those consuming the food crop. As a consequence of their work, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been informed about the accumulation of Cr and Ni in food tubers and is taking action.
This article describes an application of spectral imaging for the differentiation of tumour and normal cells. The authors also introduce the concept of a spectral barcode, which has had success with some tissues and has potential in others.
With continuing food scares around the world, food producers need every tool they can get to prevent contamination of their products at every stage of production. Hyperspectral reflectance imaging in the NIR combined with chemometrics shows much promise for the detection and identification of foreign bodies among food grains.
The single cell Raman spectrum (SCRS) enables cell probing and sorting to study phenotypes and ecophysiology of single cells and explore individual cells in situ in a label-free and non-destructive manner.
In resonance Raman scattering (RRS), the amount of structural and chemical information deduced can be increased by analysing the polarisation of the inelastically scattered light, including the degree of molecular aggregation in bio-molecules in their natural environment.
There are a number of approaches, and by combining FT-IR imaging methodology with microfluidics devices, the opportunity to study live cells by FT-IR imaging in controlled environments is now possible.
This article explains the challenges in pesticide residue analysis of samples associated with suspected poisoning incident investigations, including the wide range of specimens and pesticides that need to be considered.
Thiabendazole (TBZ) is a chemical fungicide and parasiticide used to prevent mould, blight and other diseases resulting from long transportation and storage, largely used as an ingredient in waxes applied to the skins of citrus fruits. The authors describe their work using near infrared-surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and conventional Ag nanoparticles, which showed that TBZ was found both on organic fruit and at levels higher than regulations allow.
In this article we learn of a new definition for “bath salts”, and how modern mass spectrometry instrumentation can provide rapid and quantitation of these “designer” drugs.
Both the size and chemical composition of airborne particles have an effect on human health. Whilst the effects of size have been much studied, many of the toxic chemicals in particles are at very low concentration and have been less studied. Monitoring their composition and concentration over time helps to determine their source. Synchrotron radiation-induced XRF spectrometry proves to be a good tool for this purpose.
Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and tip-enhanced Raman mapping (TERM) can be used advantageously to investigate the carbon allotropes graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes, with a spatial resolution in the nanometre range
Bread is the major contributor to Na intake in the human diet. For this reason, it is expected that lowering the amount of salt in bread may lead to a substantial reduction in the sodium intake. However, lowering the amount of salt in bread has an impact on the flavour. Using LIBS, a fast and easy-to-use method could be set up to determine Na distribution in baked bread as an innovative tool to help the development of methods to reduce total sodium content in bread.
Fuels and the taxes raised from their sale are a big business around the world. To control smuggling, counterfeiting, theft and product diversion, markers can be placed in the fuel. The use of a SERS active compounds as markers is described as well as the development of a portable instrument for detection of the markers in the field.