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American Chemical Society's Weekly Presspac -- Aug. 29, 2007

News Items in This Edition:

  • Fingerprinting fake coffee

  • Nanomagnetic sponges to clean precious works of art

  • Tiny carbon nanotubes show big germ-fighting potential

  • Toward improved drug-delivery: Coating gives nanowires easy access to cells

  • Memory enhancement drugs show promise but face growing scrutiny

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Fingerprinting fake coffee
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

With prices of gourmet coffee approaching sticker-shock levels, scientists in Illinois are reporting development of a method to fingerprint coffee to detect when corn has been mixed in to short-change customers. Their study is in the Aug. 8 issue of ACSs Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly journal.

Gulab Jham and colleagues point out that such adulteration of Brazilian coffee is among the most serious problems affecting coffee quality with cereal grains, coffee twigs, and brown sugar sometimes mixed into the genuine article. Their research focuses on detecting corn, probably the most widely used adulterant.

The study describes development and use on six popular coffee brands of a method for analyzing one form of vitamin E in Brazilian coffee. Because roasted corn samples have high concentrations of vitamin E, it serves as a fingerprint for adulteration with co

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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