Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis for the detection and quantification of different milk species

N. Nicolaou, Y. Xu, R. Goodacre

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The authenticity of milk and milk products is important and has extended health, cultural, and financial implications. Current analytical methods for the detection of milk adulteration are slow, laborious, and therefore impractical for use in routine milk screening by the dairy industry. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a rapid biochemical fingerprinting technique that could be used to reduce this sample analysis period significantly. To test this hypothesis we investigated 3 types of milk: cow, goat, and sheep milk. From these, 4 mixtures were prepared. The first 3 were binary mixtures of sheep and cow milk, goat and cow milk, or sheep and goat milk; in all mixtures the mixtures contained between 0 and 100% of each milk in increments of 5%. The fourth combination was a tertiary mixture containing sheep, cow, and goat milk also in increments of 5%. Analysis by FT-IR spectroscopy in combination with multivariate statistical methods, including partial least squares (PLS) regression and nonlinear kernel partial least squares (KPLS) regression, were used for multivariate calibration to quantify the different levels of adulterated milk. The FT-IR spectra showed a reasonably good predictive value for the binary mixtures, with an error level of 6.5 to 8% when analyzed using PLS. The results improved and excellent predictions were achieved (only 4-6% error) when KPLS was employed. Excellent predictions were achieved by both PLS and KPLS with errors of 3.4 to 4.9% and 3.9 to 6.4%, respectively, when the tertiary mixtures were analyzed. We believe that these results show that FT-IR spectroscopy has excellent potential for use in the dairy industry as a rapid method of detection and quantification in milk adulteration. © 2010 American Dairy Science Association.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5651-5660
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Dairy Science
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


    • Authenticity of milk products
    • Chemometrics
    • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
    • Milk adulteration


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