"Products labelled with an organic certificate are not necessarily real organic products," Professor Yuan points out. "We can identify adulteration of honey by using δ13C analysis to detect the source of added C4 sugars such as corn syrup. δ15N can be used as an indication of the source of organic fertilizer. It is also possible to identify the origin of agricultural products such as wine and olive oil from Europe, tea from China, ginseng from South Korea, honey from New Zealand, etc. using carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen or oxygen isotopes."
Professor Yuan’s team uses our EA-IRMS technology to study product safety, geographic origin, composition and, of course, whether something can be considered ‘organic’ or not. "In the past 20 years, the level of organic food identification technology has improved greatly from δ15N identification to the identification of multiple isotopes. Compared with other indicators, the value of δ15N is obvious, as the increased use of organic fertilizer leads to an increase of δ15N.
However, when organic fertilizer and chemical fertilizer are used simultaneously, the isotope values of using organic fertilizer alone can also be achieved," Professor Yuan outlines. "We look at a wide variety of factors, such as processing modes, fertilizer and the influence of light and temperature on the isotope ratios. For example, how different sample preparations can influence the CNSOH isotopes, including organic manure and chemical fertilizer on δ15N, and the influence of light and temperature on CNSOH isotopes."