Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Based Protein Assay for Cereal Samples

Sezer B., Bilge G., BOYACI İ. H.

JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, vol.64, no.49, pp.9459-9463, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Protein content is an important quality parameter in terms of price, nutritional value, and labeling of various cereal samples. However, conventional analysis methods, namely, Kjeldahl and Dumas, have major drawbacks such as long analysis time, titration mistakes, and carrier gas dependence with high purity. For this reason, there is an urgent need for rapid, reliable, and environmentally friendly technologies for protein analysis. The present study aims to develop a new method for protein analysis in wheat flour and whole meal by using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), which is a multielemental, fast, and simple spectroscopic method. Unlike the Kjeldahl and Dumas methods, it has potential to analyze a high number of samples in considerably short time. In the study, nitrogen peaks in LIBS spectra of wheat flour and whole meal samples with different protein contents were correlated with results of the standard Dumas method with the aid of chemometric methods. A calibration graph showed good linearity with the protein content between 7.9 and 20.9% and a 0.992 coefficient of determination (R-2). The limit of detection was calculated as 0.26%. The results indicated that LIBS is a promising and reliable method with its high sensitivity for routine protein analysis in wheat flour and whole meal samples.