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Stable isotopes trace the truth; from adulterated foods to crime scenes

James R. Ehleringer, Lesley A. Chesson, Luciano O. Valenzuela, Brett J. Tipple and Luiz A. Martinelli
Stable isotopes trace the truth; from adulterated foods to crime scenes (in Social and economic impact of geochemistry, John Ludden (editor), Francis Albarede (editor) and Max L. Coleman (editor))
Elements (August 2015) 11 (4): 259-264


Stable isotopes are valuable biogeochemical markers for solving problems faced by society today, such as distinguishing authentic from adulterated foods and beverages or tracing the origins of illicit drugs. Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water exhibit distinct continental patterns (isoscapes), which provide useful region-of-origin information. We ourselves reflect the stable isotope ratios of the water we drink and the food we eat: our hair records any isotopic changes to our diets, which can often be related to location. This latter aspect can be of interest to law enforcement in determining the origins and travel histories of unidentified murder victims.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Stable isotopes trace the truth; from adulterated foods to crime scenes
Title: Social and economic impact of geochemistry
Author(s): Ehleringer, James R.Chesson, Lesley A.Valenzuela, Luciano O.Tipple, Brett J.Martinelli, Luiz A.
Author(s): Ludden, Johneditor
Author(s): Albarede, Franciseditor
Author(s): Coleman, Max L.editor
Affiliation: University of Utah, Global Change and Sustainability Center, Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Affiliation: British Geological Survey, United Kingdom
Pages: 259-264
Published: 201508
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 31
Accession Number: 2016-002082
Categories: Isotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
Secondary Affiliation: Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, FRA, FranceCalifornia Institute of Technology, USA, United StatesIsoForensics, USA, United StatesUniversidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, ARG, ArgentinaUniversity of Sao Paulo, BRA, Brazil
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America
Update Code: 201601
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