In recent years there has been a considerable amount of interest in virgin coconut oil (VCO) due to its potential health benefits. Moreover, VCO has a higher commercial value compared to other edible oils. This has led to VCO to be a target for potential adulteration with cheaper oil or animal fat such as lard. Lard resembles VCO due to its creamy white and solid form appearance at room temperature. Such adulteration practice is a commercial fraud which could have a negative economic implication. Therefore, there is a need to establish a reliable method to detect and quantitate lard adulteration in VCO.
Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a useful technique in identification of organic component due to its characteristic absorption in the infrared (IR) region. Furthermore, when being used in conjunction with chemometrics data analysis such as partial least squares (PLS) regression, it enables a rapid quantitative analysis with minimal sample preparation. This application news examines two measurement and quantitation methods, attenuated total reflection (ATR) with PLS quantitation and transmission with calibration curve quantitation, for the determination of lard adulterated VCO using FTIR spectroscopy.