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Gold Nanorods as Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrates for Rapid and Sensitive Analysis of Allura Red and Sunset Yellow in Beverages

Ou, Yiming, Wang, Xiaohui, Lai, Keqiang, Huang, Yiqun, Rasco, Barbara A., Fan, Yuxia
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2018 v.66 no.11 pp. 2954-2961
Raman spectroscopy, azo dyes, beverages, food colorants, gold, high performance liquid chromatography, human health, magnesium sulfate, nanogold, nanorods, prediction
Synthetic colorants in food can be a potential threat to human health. In this study, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) coupled with gold nanorods as substrates is proposed to analyze allura red and sunset yellow in beverages. The gold nanorods with different aspect ratios were synthesized, and their long-term stability, SERS activity, and the effect of the different salts on the SERS signal were investigated. The results demonstrate that gold nanorods have a satisfactory stability (stored up to 28 days). SERS coupled with gold nanorods exhibit stronger sensitivity. MgSO₄ was chosen to improve the SERS signal of sunset yellow, and no salts could enhance the SERS signal of allura red. The lowest concentration was 0.10 mg/L for both colorant standard solutions. The successful prediction results using SERS were much closer to those obtained by high-performance liquid chromatography for the sample in beverages. SERS combined with gold nanorods shows potential for analyzing food colorants and other food additives as a rapid, convenient, and sensitive method.