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Fatty Acids and Phytosterols to Discriminate Geographic Origin of Lycium barbarum Berry

Cossignani, L., Blasi, F., Simonetti, M.S., Montesano, D.
Food analytical methods 2018 v.11 no.4 pp. 1180-1188
Lycium barbarum, analytical methods, beta-sitosterol, discriminant analysis, essential fatty acids, fatty acid composition, food industry, principal component analysis, product authenticity, provenance, China, Italy, Mongolia
Since product authenticity is an important topic in the food sector, the composition of fatty acids (FA) and phytosterols of goji berry (Lycium barbarum L.), produced in different countries (China, Italy, Mongolia), was investigated. The main objective was to classify and discriminate goji samples of different production areas. Goji lipids were characterized by high percentages of essential FA (47.8, 61.0, and 61.6% for Italian, Mongolian, and Chinese samples, respectively). In addition, goji berry was an interesting source of phytosterols with content ranging from 42.8 to 130.1 mg/100 g for Italian and Mongolian samples, respectively. β-Sitosterol was the predominant component in Italian samples, while Δ5-avenasterol and Δ-5,23-stigmastadienol were more represented in the extra-European samples than the Italian ones. Principal component analysis and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) for FA and sterol percent compositions have highlighted the ability to discriminate the geographic origin of goji samples. LDA classification results showed that 100% of both original and the cross-validated grouped cases were correctly classified using sterol data and suggested that sterol composition might be used as geographical marker.