Differentiating Between Different Vegetable Oils Using Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy provides a unique chemical fingerprint of a substance. Vegetable oils such as canola oil or linseed oil contain esters of different fatty acids. Their specific composition is crucial for quality control in the food and cosmetics industries. With Anton Paar’s Cora series of Raman systems different edible oils can be distinguished by their distinct Raman spectra.

Vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are fats obtained from different parts of vegetables such as seeds or fruit. Their composition is a complex mixture of different types of fats. They are an important component in human nutrition, since some of them – the so-called essential oils – cannot be produced by the human organism itself and therefore have to be consumed as part of the diet.

Furthermore, vegetable oils are widely used in the cosmetics industry because they exhibit moisturizing and skin protecting properties.

The nutritional value and also the stability of the oil towards heat or oxidation depend on its specific chemical makeup. It is therefore crucial to monitor the oil composition to reveal quality degradation due to chemical reactions or due to adulteration with oils of lower grade.

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