London: When you buy food that is labelled "organic" or "natural", how do you know that what you took home is safe? A new technology can find this for you.
Keeping in mind the growing organic food market and the associated fraudulent labelling that has grown just as fast, researchers have devised a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
They used the technology to authenticate foods including honey and olive oil.
They also analysed tomatoes grown in greenhouses and outdoors with conventional and organic fertilisers.
The results showed a trend towards differentiation of organic and conventional produce.
"The test is a good starting point for the authentication of organically produced tomatoes and its further refinement could help root out fraudulently labelled foods," said lead investigator Monika Hohmann from Wuerzburg University in Germany.
A growing number of consumers are willing to pay a premium for fruits, vegetables and other foods labelled "organic", but whether they are getting what the label claims is another matter, the study observed.
The study appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.