European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 231, Issue 4, pp 623–634 | Cite as

Determination of the geographical origin of processed spice using multielement and isotopic pattern on the example of Szegedi paprika

  • Marion Brunner
  • Róbert Katona
  • Zsolt Stefánka
  • Thomas ProhaskaEmail author
Original Paper


This case study presents a fast and reliable method of combining strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) with a multielement pattern (Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Mo, Cd, Ba, Pb, Th, U, Mg, Ca, Sc, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As and rare earth elements) by means of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to establish a unique fingerprint of authentic Szegedi Fűszerpaprika (PDO) and classify authentic and purchased paprika from different known, declared and unknown geographical origin using multivariate statistical tools (principal component and canonical discriminant analysis). Since paprika represents a processed spice, alterations in element and Sr isotopic composition throughout the production process were investigated. The Sr source in the final product was identified to stem from bioavailable Sr sources in soil. Therefore, the ammonium nitrate extract of a soil is sufficient to establish a Sr fingerprint for agricultural products of a region. As a consequence, the spice paprika can be traced back to its geographical origin even after processing.


Food traceability Paprika Strontium isotope ratio (MC)-ICP-MS Multielement analyses Rare earth elements 



We acknowledge the scientific support of FWF 267N11, the BOKUDoc grant, the Austrian-Hungarian Research Fund (72öu2), the Hungarian Research Fund (OTKA F61087) and the Bolyai János Research Fellowship. We would like to thank László Abrankó from the Corvinus University of Budapest, Karin Dauda, Matthias Zeilinger, Ylva Rodhe, Giacomo Di Noto and Pipsa Salolammi for providing sample material.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Brunner
    • 1
  • Róbert Katona
    • 2
  • Zsolt Stefánka
    • 2
  • Thomas Prohaska
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, VIRIS LaboratoryUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Radiation SafetyInstitute of Isotopes of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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