Introduction Fish fraud detection is mainly carried out
using a genomic profiling approach requiring long and complex
sample preparations and assay running times. Rapid
evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS) can circumvent
these issues without sacrificing a loss in the quality
Objectives To demonstrate that REIMS can be used as a
fast profiling technique capable of achieving accurate species
identification without the need for any sample preparation.
Additionally, we wanted to demonstrate that other aspects of
fish fraud other than speciation are detectable using REIMS.
Methods 478 samples of five different white fish species
were subjected to REIMS analysis using an electrosurgical knife. Each sample was cut 8–12 times with each one lasting
3–5 s and chemometric models were generated based on the
mass range m/z 600–950 of each sample.
Results The identification of 99 validation samples provided
a 98.99% correct classification in which species identification
was obtained near-instantaneously (≈2 s) unlike
any other form of food fraud analysis. Significant time comparisons
between REIMS and polymerase chain reaction
(PCR) were observed when analysing 6 mislabelled samples
demonstrating how REIMS can be used as a complimentary
technique to detect fish fraud. Additionally, we have demonstrated
that the catch method of fish products is capable of
detection using REIMS, a concept never previously reported.
Conclusions REIMS has been proven to be an innovative
technique to help aid the detection of fish fraud and has
the potential to be utilised by fisheries to conduct their own
quality control (QC) checks for fast accurate results.