Due to increasing number of food fraud incidents, there is an inherent need for the development and implementation of analytical platforms enabling detection and quantitation of adulteration. In this study a set of unique biomarkers of commonly found oregano adulterants became the targets in the development of a LC-MS/MS method which underwent a rigorous in-house validation. The method presented very high selectivity and specificity, excellent linearity (R(2)>0.988) low decision limits and detection capabilities (<2%), acceptable accuracy (intra-assay 92-113%, inter-assay 69-138%) and precision (CV<20%). The method was compared with an established FTIR screening assay and revealed a good correlation of quali- and quantitative results (R(2)>0.81). An assessment of 54 suspected adulterated oregano samples revealed that almost 90% of them contained at least one bulking agent, with a median level of adulteration of 50%. Such innovative methodologies need to be established as routine testing procedures to detect and ultimately deter food fraud.
- Journal Article