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Identification of an internal isotopic reference compound in palm sugar to improve the detection of cane sugar addition - FA0207

Palm sugar is obtained from the sugary sap of various palm trees, and provides the basis for many Asian confectionary and savoury dishes. Also called jaggery or gur, it is produced by boiling the nectar obtained from the flowering stem of the palm tree. It undergoes minimal processing, and has a rich and distinct flavour and aroma, similar to that of honey or caramel.

The research was carried out in response to an investigation carried out by a UK enforcement authority and intelligence relating to the adulteration of palm sugar with cheaper refined cane sugar. This small study was commissioned to identify an internal isotopic reference marker derived from palm sugar to detect adulteration of palm sugar (a C3 product) with cane sugar (a C4 product).
Stable isotope ratio analysis is a well established method which can also be used in the detection of sugars in honey. The objective of this study was to identify a suitable organic compound present in palm sugar that can be extracted and used as an Internal Isotopic Reference (IIR) for Carbon Stable Isotope Analysis (CSIA).
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Q01127 IFRx Palm Sugar IIR final report   (374k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SOP - Determination of 2H and 18O in bulk organic material   (380k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2008

Contractor / Funded Organisations