The Use of Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence in the Identification of the Elemental Composition of Vanilla Samples and the Determination of the Geographic Origin by Discriminant Function Analysis


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 Sixteen elements found in 37 vanilla samples from Madagascar, Uganda, India, Indonesia (all Vanilla planifolia species), and Papa New Guinea (Vanilla tahitensis species) were measured by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) spectroscopy for the purpose of determining the elemental concentrations to discriminate among the origins. Pellets were prepared of the samples and elemental concentrations were calculated based on calibration curves created using 4 Natl. Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards. Discriminant analysis was used to successfully classify the vanilla samples by their species and their geographical region. Our method allows for higher throughput in the rapid screening of vanilla samples in less time than analytical methods currently available.

Practical Application  Wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and discriminant function analysis were used to classify vanilla from different origins resulting in a model that could potentially serve to rapidly validate these samples before purchasing from a producer.