Testing edible oil authenticity by using smartphone based spectrometer
Authors: Hanh Hong Mai, Tran Thinh Le
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In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the classification of edible vegetable oils, examining authenticity and in detecting possible adulteration of high quality, expensive extra virgin olive oils with low-cost edible oils. Classical methods such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, Fourier transform infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, and Raman spectroscopy have been widely applied to examine the authenticity of edible oils. De-spite of their high sensitivity and accuracy, these methods are significantly expensive for daily life testing, especially in resource-poor regions. Furthermore, they are time-consuming as samples have to be analyzed in dedicated laboratories. In this paper, we propose a compact, low-cost, port-able smartphone-based spectrometer for testing edible oil authenticity. Using simple laboratory op-tical components and a smartphone, we developed a compact spectrometer which can function in the wavelength range of 400–700 nm with the spectrum/pixel resolution of 0.334 nm / pixel. The images captured by the smartphone were converted into intensity distribution plots versus wave-length. As a proof of concept, the smartphone based spectrometer was utilized to measure the variations in fluorescent intensity of the mixed oils of expensive extra virgin olive oil and low-cost rice oil with different percentages. The results obtained the spectrometer were in good agreement with that from a laboratory spectrometer, thus, confirmed its adequate sensitivity and accuracy. Due to the cost effectiveness, the adequate sensitivity, and the portability, the smartphone based spectrometer can be applied in numerous applications such as in-field testing, lifestyle monitoring, and home diagnostics.