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Food Analysis with Confocal Raman Microscopy

Confocal Raman microscopy is a powerful tool for visualizing the che- mical composition of heterogeneous samples on the sub-micrometer scale. This application note demonstrates the utility of Raman imaging for characterizing various food samples such as honey, chocolate and fat- spreads, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the products and the production processes.

The Raman principle

The Raman effect is based on the inelastic scattering of light by the molecules of gaseous, liquid or solid materials. The interaction of a molecule with photons causes vibrations of its chemical bonds, leading to specific energy shifts in the scattered light. Thus, any given chemical compound produces a particular Raman spectrum when excited and can be easily identified by this individual “fingerprint.” Raman spectroscopy is a well-established, label-free and non-destructive method for analyzing the molecular composition of a sample.

Raman imaging

In Raman imaging, a confocal microscope is combined with a spectrometer and a Raman spectrum is recorded at every image pixel. The resulting Raman image visualizes the distribution of the sample’s compounds. Due to the high confocality of WITec Raman systems, volume scans and 3D images can also be generated.

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