Detection of honey adulteration using benchtop 1H NMR spectroscopy

Yuki Rhee, Ella R Shilliday, Yevgen Matviychuk, Thien Nguyen, Neil Robinson, Daniel J Holland, Paul R J Connolly, Michael L Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High magnetic field NMR spectroscopy featuring the use of superconducting magnets is a powerful analytical technique for the detection of honey adulteration. Such high field NMR systems are, however, typically housed in specialised laboratories, require cryogenic coolants, and necessitate specialist training to operate. Benchtop NMR spectrometers featuring permanent magnets are, by comparison, significantly cheaper, more mobile and can be operated with minimal expertise. The lower magnetic fields used in such systems, however, result in limited spectral resolution, which diminishes their ability to perform quantitative composition analysis. These limitations may be overcome by implementing a recently developed field-invariant model-based fitting method which is defined by the underlying quantum mechanical properties of the nuclear spin system; this method is applied here to quantify the sugar composition of honey using benchtop 1H NMR (43 MHz) spectroscopy. The detection of adulteration of 26 honey samples with brown rice syrup is quantitatively demonstrated to a minimum adulterant concentration of 5 wt%. Honey adulteration with corn syrup, glucose syrup and wheat syrup was also quantitatively detected using this approach. Our NMR detection of adulteration was shown to be invariant with time over 60 days of storage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-1699
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Methods
Issue number13
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023


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