Tracing crop (cotton) origin and verifying its authenticity, using stable isotope measurements
Sound Agricultural products and food safety systems must include the ability to trace the origins of food and Agricultural products in the supply chain. Many countries assist protocols and improving their laboratory and regulatory capacities in tracing food origin and verifying its authenticity, using stable isotope measurements and complementary fingerprinting and profiling techniques but Egypt does not proceed yet.
Since the 2000s, stable isotope analysis has been used to verify the geographical origins of crop and food products. The composition of stable isotopes of Agricultural products and food works as a “record” of the environmental conditions at the Agricultural products and food’s point of origin, as well as the agricultural and feeding practices used during production.
Also in Egypt we face a special problem in cotton. Premium Egyptian cotton is the best in the world and in constant high demand. Because of its value, this national resource is subject to counterfeiting which results in lost revenues. This loss, while known to be significant, is immeasurable with current methods. Traditional cotton testing and authentication methodologies do not provide high enough resolution data that can be relied upon to verify original premium ELS Egyptian cotton fiber in finished goods. . Some consumers, brand owners and retailers are unaware, while others are aware, but do not have reliable methods by which they can check the authenticity or content of the products. The analysis of cotton fibers can be particularly challenging within a forensic science context where discrimination of one fiber from another is of importance. Normally cotton fiber analysis examines the morphological structure of the recovered material and compares this with that of a known fiber from a particular source of interest. This will result in recovery of lost revenues, to ensure quality and global consumer confidence and to restore pride in this national resource.
State of the art:
Limited amounts of previous research have reported stable isotope analysis of cotton plants, leaves or cellulose and have investigated natural variation in 2H and 18O isotopic abundance in plant dry matter, carbohydrates or the effect of water stress on 2H and 18O and 13C isotopic abundance in cellulose. However, these previous studies have confirmed the feasibility of using the 2H and 18O and 13C isotopic composition of cotton cellulose present in cotton fabrics as a potential discriminatory tool. This can occur through the determination of the geographic provenance of the material because of the clear influence of the growth environment on the stable isotope profiles.
Agricultural products and food origin analysis is a comparative technique that requires a database of reference values from authentic products, because there is considerable natural variation and overlap of isotope ‘signatures’ in agricultural products from around Egypt. The FAO and IAEA helps establish and maintain global isotopic databases for Agricultural products and food, such as the Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation. But in Egypt we do not take any step
The aim of this work was to explore the potential for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectroscopy (IRMS) to be utilized as an additional tool for Egyptian cotton analysis in an attempt to reveal further discriminatory information. For this proof-of-concept study we concentrated on cotton fibers, yarns, woven, knitted, and its blends with natural, generated, and synthetic of known origin in order to expose the potential of the analytical technique.
• Apply the system of traceability and authentication on all the agricultural products in Egypt specially cotton
Establish the technology and the protocol of using staple isotopes for origin of crop (cotton) traceability and building database in Egypt.
• establish pilot study in cotton research institute to test the hypothesis that multi element stable isotope analysis of cotton samples in conjunction with multivariate statistical analysis of the resulting isotopic data permits sample provenance based on the determination of where the cotton was grown and as such will facilitate sample discrimination.
DESCRIPTION OF YOUR ORGANISATION:
C.R.I. is one of the oldest cotton research institutions in Egypt and worldwide. Its inception dates back to the first decade of the 20th century when it was established as a unit within a small research station at Giza little before the Ministry of Agriculture was created in 1913 . In 1919 ,GOE established the “ Cotton Research Council” to investigate ways and means of improving yield, enhance resistance to pests and diseases, design and implement soil research and plant physiology ( fertilization and nutrition ) .
In 1935, the Experimental Spinning mill was established to compliment the other technical departments .In 1971 ,the Agricultural Research Center was established to mark a new era of integrated research, including breeding , Agronomy , quality and extension .
At the initial stage , research focused on breeding improved , high yielding varieties, based on selection of diserable mutations or genetic segregation of earlier natural hybridization . As of 1921, the Cotton Research Council approved the utilization of artificial hybridization to develop new cotton varieties . The aim was to incorporate into a new strain such diserable traits from parent plants . The technique was further developed to become the major approach for developing new varieties .
Cotton technology research was also developed to complement agronomy research The Experimental Spinning mill is now the second wing of C.R.I. A multi-disciplinary approach within C.R.I. enhances collaboration among cotton breeders , agronomists and technologists in the process of developing new varieties that fulfil needs of the domestic and international Spinners . With this in mind , the National Program for Cotton Improvement functions on two levels :
1-Breeding new varieties exceeding the existing ones in yield , quality or both, together with preserving , renovating and multiplying the grown varieties to produce foundation seeds and specify the most suitable agro . climatic zones for higher yield and better spin ability .
2-Continually developing agronomic practices to increase yield and reduce cost .
The CRI premises is located within the ARC ‘ s headquarters at 9, Gamaa,t El Qahira street , Giza . It also has representative offices at the regional research stations distributed nationwide (sakha / kafr El sheikh , Gemmaiza / Gharbia , Sides / Beni swaif, Malawi / Menya, Shandaweil / Sohag , El-matana /Qena). In addition, some of the CRI experiments are inplemented in the farmers’ fields within the central Administration for Agricultural Research Stations of the ARC .
CRI consists of 10 research sections under two main headings : -
1- Cotton Production Research , comprising
cotton breeding , varietal conservation, regional evaluation, agronomy and physiology .
2- Cotton Technology Research , comprising cotton yarn ,fiber , chemistry, grading and ginning sections . CRI also has a general department for foundation seeds Ginning .
The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area will devise new R&I approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth
The PRIMA programme is an Art.185 initiative supported and funded under Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.