Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 558–568 | Cite as

Use of an “Intelligent Knife” (iknife), Based on the Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry Technology, for Authenticity Assessment of Pistachio Samples

  • Francesca Rigano
  • Sara Stead
  • Domenica Mangraviti
  • Renata Jandova
  • Davy Petit
  • Nino Marino
  • Luigi MondelloEmail author


The iknife (intelligent knife) is the coupling between rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry and an electrosurgical knife. The technique is based on a fast evaporation of a sample, yielding gaseous molecular ions of the major components, thus obtaining a holistic profile, usable as univocal fingerprinting. Since its introduction by Professor Takats of Imperial College of London, it was mainly used for in vivo biological tissues analysis since, differently from desorption ionization methods, it does not require any sample preparation. The aim of the present research is to extend the applicability and the advantages of such a technique to food samples for geography evaluation and authenticity assessment. For this purpose, a database containing MS profiles of authentic samples need to be created. The application here described focus on the profiling of pistachio samples, taking into account that adulterated Sicilian Bronte pistachio can be found on the market, due to its high cost.


Intelligent knife (iknife) Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) Authenticity assessment Geographical traceability Pistachio Statistical clustering 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Francesca Rigano declares that she has no conflict of interest. Sara Stead declares that she has no conflict of interest. Domenica Mangraviti declares that she has no conflict of interest. Renata Jandova declares that she has no conflict of interest. Davy Petit declares that he has no conflict of interest. Luigi Mondello 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

Informed consent is not applicable for this study.

Supplementary material

12161_2018_1386_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.3 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2342 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chromaleont S.r.L c/o Dipatimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed Ambientali, Polo AnnunziataUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Waters CorporationWilmslowUK
  3. 3.Dipatimento di Scienze Chimiche, Biologiche, Farmaceutiche ed Ambientali, Polo AnnunziataUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  4. 4.Waters Corporation, Waters S.A.SSaint-QuentinFrance
  5. 5.Pistì – Antichi Sapori dell’Etna S.r.L Viale J.F. Kennedy/Zona artigianaleCataniaItaly
  6. 6.University Campus Bio-Medico of RomeRomeItaly

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