Objective: The addition of residual oils such as palm fibre oil (PFO) and sludge palm oil (SPO) to crude palm oil (CPO) can be problematic within supply chains. PFO is thought to aggravate the accumulation of monochloropropanediols (MCPDs) in CPO, whilst SPO is an acidic by-product of CPO milling and is not fit for human consumption. Traditional targeted techniques to detect such additives are costly, time-consuming and require highly trained operators. Therefore, we seek to assess the use of gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) for rapid, cost-effective screening of CPO for the presence of characteristic PFO and SPO volatile organic compound (VOC) fingerprints. Results: Lab-pressed CPO and commercial dispatch tank (DT) CPO were spiked with PFO and SPO, respectively. Both additives were detectable at concentrations of 1% and 10% (w/w) in spiked lab-pressed CPO, via seven PFO-associated VOCs and 21 SPO-associated VOCs. DT controls could not be distinguished from PFO-spiked DT CPO, suggesting these samples may have already contained low levels of PFO. DT controls were free of SPO. SPO was detected in all SPO-spiked dispatch tank samples by all 21 of the previously distinguished VOCs and had a significant fingerprint consisting of four spectral regions.
- Crude palm oil
- Gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry
- Rapid analysis
- Volatile organic compounds