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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7210463, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Attenuated Total Reflectance Mid-Infrared, Near Infrared, and 1H-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopies for the Determination of Coffee’s Geographical Origin

1Chemistry Department, Universidad del Valle, AA 25360, Cali, Colombia
2Institut de Police Scientifique, Ecole des Sciences Criminelles, Université de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
3Grupo de Investigación Ciencias, Educación y Tecnología-CETIC, Programa de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad del Atlántico, Km 7 Antigua Vía Puerto Colombia, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
4Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá, Colombia

Correspondence should be addressed to Julien Wist

Received 3 April 2017; Revised 1 August 2017; Accepted 30 August 2017; Published 1 November 2017

Academic Editor: Alban Ibraliu

Copyright © 2017 Jessica Medina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The sensorial properties of Colombian coffee are renowned worldwide, which is reflected in its market value. This raises the threat of fraud by adulteration using coffee grains from other countries, thus creating a demand for robust and cost-effective methods for the determination of geographical origin of coffee samples. Spectroscopic techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), near infrared (NIR), and mid-infrared (mIR) have arisen as strong candidates for the task. Although a body of work exists that reports on their individual performances, a faithful comparison has not been established yet. We evaluated the performance of 1H-NMR, Attenuated Total Reflectance mIR (ATR-mIR), and NIR applied to fraud detection in Colombian coffee. For each technique, we built classification models for discrimination by species (C. arabica versus C. canephora (or robusta)) and by origin (Colombia versus other C. arabica) using a common set of coffee samples. All techniques successfully discriminated samples by species, as expected. Regarding origin determination, ATR-mIR and 1H-NMR showed comparable capacity to discriminate Colombian coffee samples, while NIR fell short by comparison. In conclusion, ATR-mIR, a less common technique in the field of coffee adulteration and fraud detection, emerges as a strong candidate, faster and with lower cost compared to 1H-NMR and more discriminating compared to NIR.