Determination of geographical origin of distillers dried grains and solubles using isotope ratio mass spectrometry
In recent years distillers dried grains and solubles (DDGS), co-products of the bio-ethanol and beverages industries, have become globally traded commodity for the animal feed sector. As such it is becoming increasingly important to be able to trace the geographical origin of commodities in case of a contamination incident or authenticity issue arise. In this study, 137 DDGS samples from a range of different geographical origins (China, USA, Canada and European Union) were collected and analyzed. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) was used to analyze the DDGS for 2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 34S/32S isotope ratios which can vary depending on geographical origin and processing. Univariate and multivariate statistical techniques were employed to investigate the feasibility of using the IRMS data to determine botanical and geographical origin of the DDGS. The results indicated that this commodity could be differentiated according to their place of origin by the analysis of stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen but not with sulfur. By adding data to the models produced in this study, potentially an isotope databank could be set up for traceability procedures for DDGS, similar to the one established already for wine which will help in feed and food security issues arising worldwide.