Eco-Research

Isotope analysis for the traceability of regional products

Our latest publication about “ Geographic tracing of cereals from South Tyrol (Italy) and neighboring regions via 87Sr/86Sr isotope analysis ” is now available on Food Chemistry (OpenAccess).

In this paper, we summarize the results of a study focused on the application of the strontium isotope ratio analysis for the characterization and determination of the geographic origin of cereals cultivated in South Tyrol and neighboring regions of Trentino and Tyrol, with an in-depth analysis of the link between this marker and the geo-lithological features of each area.

Abstract

The protection and promotion of agricultural niche products can be supported by the application of analytical techniques able to link food to its territory. This study aimed at exploring the possibility to discriminate between cereal samples from South Tyrol (Italy) and the neighboring regions (Trentino, East Tyrol, and North Tyrol) by their 87Sr/86Sr ratios. Soil and grain (different species) samples were collected from around 100 fields in two sampling campaigns. No difference in the 87Sr/86Sr ratios among different cereal species (p < 0.05) was found when cultivated on the same field. A high correlation between 87Sr/86Sr ratios in cereal grains and soil samples was found, with results in line with the local geology characteristics. Cereal samples from South Tyrol showed relatively high 87Sr/86Sr values (0.716 – 0.721, mean 50%), separating them from the other regions investigated and many cereal production areas of global importance.

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