Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 1547–1555 | Cite as

Novel Spectroscopic Method for Determination and Quantification of Saffron Adulteration

  • Suzan Varliklioz Er
  • Haslet Eksi-Kocak
  • Hasan Yetim
  • Ismail Hakki Boyaci


In this study, a spectroscopic method was developed for the determination and quantification of saffron adulteration with some plant adulterants (safflower, marigold, and turmeric). For this purpose, three spectroscopic techniques, namely, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), were applied, and the superiority of the techniques was investigated by using principal component analysis (PCA). All spectral data were compared, and the best discrimination among saffron and plant adulterants was obtained with LIBS according to PCA results. Following this analysis, partial least squares (PLS) method was carried out using LIBS data to reveal the level of plant adulteration in saffron samples. A good linearity was obtained with a coefficient of determination (R 2) values of 0.999 for calibration and cross-validation in the range of 10–50% with a limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) of 1.86 and 9.32%, respectively. Taking the results into consideration, it was seen that the LIBS technique combined with PLS provides a sensitive determination of plant adulterants in saffron under 10%, which is difficult to detect using the reference UV-Vis spectroscopic method.


Saffron Adulteration Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy Raman spectroscopy Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) 



The authors thank Banu Sezer (Department of Food Engineering, Hacettepe University) for her help during LIBS analysis of samples.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Suzan Varliklioz Er declares that she has no conflict of interest. Haslet Eksi-Kocak declares that she has no conflict of interest. Hasan Yetim declares that he has no conflict of interest. Ismail Hakki Boyaci declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.

Supplementary material

12161_2016_710_MOESM1_ESM.docx (447 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 446 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzan Varliklioz Er
    • 1
  • Haslet Eksi-Kocak
    • 2
  • Hasan Yetim
    • 3
  • Ismail Hakki Boyaci
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Food EngineeringHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Biomedical EngineeringIstanbul Aydin UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Food EngineeringErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey

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