Seminar Series

Stable Isotopes in Food Science - Tools for Tracing, Quantitation - but how do you get them?


Michael Rychlik


Chair of Analytical Food Chemistry Technical University of Munich

Time & Place

Thu, 07 Apr 2016 12:00:00 NZST in Rutherford Room 531

All are welcome


Food components containing stable isotopes (so-called isotopologues) differ in their molecular mass but (essentially) not in their chemical and physical properties. Thus they undergo the same paths in chemical, physical and biochemical processes and can be differentiated by mass spectrometry. These properties make them perfect tools for following analytical procedures, biosynthesis in organisms and physiological pathways in humans. The most commonly used stable isotopes are deuterium, 13C and 15N.

In food analysis, stable isotopes are applied in Stable Isotope Dilution Analysis (SIDA), which is one of the most accurate procedures up to date. SIDA is the golden standard in mycotoxin analysis and the number of other applications in food analysis is currently increasing. Stable isotopes can also be used as tracers for assessing the bioavailability of micronutrients, an example for folates will be presented.

The biggest bottleneck for advancing SIDAs is the limited availability of isotopologues. We followed different approaches (total syntheses, metatheses, microbiological syntheses, different labels) to generate labelled compounds and examples will be presented including the pros and cons of these strategies.