Photonics News

Detect Food Adulteration with Laser Ablation Laser Ionization

Mass Spectroscopy Techniques for Product Quality Assurance Across the Food Supply Chain

Food manufacturers protect public health by ensuring food quality and safety throughout their processes. Not only does food contamination occur naturally and accidentally, but intentional food fraud continues to plague the industry, resulting in altered products that don’t meet standards in food quality, safety, and labeling. Identifying vulnerabilities in food systems and implementing mitigation strategies are just a few ways food and beverage companies take control of their food quality. Analytic instruments using spectroscopic techniques help food processors detect contaminants, enabling the proactive approach these companies need to deliver consumer-safe goods.

Laser Ablation Laser Ionization (LALI) for Fast, Accurate Food Analysis

Besides overt food fraud, food products can change during processing and storage which can alter the flavor and texture profiles and lead to spoilage. Implementing mass spectrometry instruments across the supply chain is one-way food manufacturers ensure the integrity of their finished products. LALI instruments quickly profile solid materials down to the molecular level, helping to detect markers for contamination or other forms of food adulteration.

LALI instruments function as an all-in-one, dual-laser mass spectrometer that uses short-pulse DPSS Nd: YAG lasers such as the Quantum Composers Jewel and MicroJewel, to perform chemical analysis. One laser ablates, creating the microplasma, and one laser ionizes, capturing information from the neutral particulate matter released from the sample during ablation. Then, a time-of-flight filter creates a full spectra analysis in a matter of minutes, all under vacuum. LALI can determine major elements in any solid, and also trace elements in parts per billion (PPB) concentrations.

LALI instrument’s small form factor and nondestructive analytic capabilities help manufacturers easily integrate precision testing across a variety of locations around their facilities. This simple, straightforward technique enables operators to quickly detect impurities in the food supply chain.