Original Paper

European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 227, Issue 3, pp 701-708

First online:

Element signature analysis: its validation as a tool for geographic authentication of the origin of dried beef and poultry meat

  • Bettina M. FrankeAffiliated withInstitute of Animal Science, ETH Zurich
  • , Max HaldimannAffiliated withSwiss Federal Office of Public Health
  • , Gérard GremaudAffiliated withSwiss Federal Office of Public Health
  • , Jacques-Olivier BossetAffiliated withAgroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP
  • , Ruedi HadornAffiliated withAgroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALP
  • , Michael KreuzerAffiliated withInstitute of Animal Science, ETH Zurich Email author 

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Element concentrations of 56 poultry meat and 53 dried beef samples were determined and statistically analyzed using analysis of variance and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to identify the single or combination of elements with the highest potential to determine the geographic origin. In order to validate the applicability of this technique, the results were additionally combined with data from an earlier assessment including 25 poultry meat and 23 dried beef samples. Validation was performed by estimating the origin of the first samples based on the data of the second, larger, dataset. Elements significantly discriminating among countries were As, Na, Rb, Se, Sr, and Tl for poultry meat and As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Cu, Dy, Er, Fe, Li, Mn, Pd, Rb, Se, Sr, Te, Tl, U, and V for dried beef out of about 50 elements each. The LDA gave mean correct classification rates of 77 and 79% for poultry meat and dried beef, respectively. Validation allowed identifying some, but not all, origins. For a higher discriminative power, this method should be combined with other ways of authentication.


Beef Broiler Meat Trace elements Authentication Traceability