Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 191–199 | Cite as

A novel approach to detect highly manipulated fat adulterant as Reichert–Meissl value-adjuster in ghee (clarified butter) through signature peaks by gas chromatography of triglycerides

  • Parul Pathania
  • Vivek SharmaEmail author
  • Sumit Arora
  • Priyanka Singh Rao
Original Article


Ghee, the clarified butter fat being the costliest fat among other edible oils and fats in India, prone to adulteration with highly manipulated cheaper oils/fats, especially during lean season. The present investigation carried on triglycerides profile of one of the latest components of the adulterant fat i.e. RM (Reichert–Meissl)-adjuster, has been exploited to check the adulteration of ghee with a newly emerged highly manipulated fat. Using standardized (S)-limits specified by the ISO/IDF for cow milk fat, the minimum level of detection of the adulterant fat was observed as 7.5%. However, in case of buffalo ghee, due to non-availability of the ISO/IDF limits, the detection of this adulterant fat in buffalo ghee was not possible. Gas chromatograms showed specific signature peaks of large size in the retention time region of 4.5 to 6.5 min for RM-adjuster and adulterant fat, whereas no such peaks were observed in pure cow and buffalo ghee samples. The new approach of zooming in and superimposing of selected peaks in the chromatograms of triglycerides of suspected ghee has been used as a strategy to find adulterant fat’s presence. Through this approach, the addition of RM-adjusted highly manipulated foreign fat (adulterant fat) to the tune of even 0.5% could be achieved in both cow as well as buffalo ghee.


Cow and buffalo ghee Fat adulteration Gas liquid chromatography Reichert–Meissl value adjuster 



Authors are thankful to Director of ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute for providing all facilities for carrying out this research. Authors are also thankful to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for providing the funds to procure Gas Liquid Chromatography machine in the laboratory. Authors are also thankful to Dr Ankit Goyal for the very valuable suggestions during the compilation of the paper. We are also thankful to State Food Laboratory, Dairy Cooperative and Referral Laboratory of NDRI to provide with the suspected samples.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parul Pathania
    • 1
  • Vivek Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sumit Arora
    • 1
  • Priyanka Singh Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.Dairy Chemistry DivisionNational Dairy Research Institute (ICAR-NDRI)KarnalIndia

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