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Determination of the Geographical and Botanical Origin of Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) Using Stable Isotopes of C, N, and S

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journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2018, 00:00 by Miha Ocvirk, Nives Ogrinc, Iztok Jože Košir
A need exists for a reliable method to determine the geographical and botanical origin of hops. For this study, three sets of samples were collected: the first set comprised 5 German samples; the second set comprised samples of hops from 10 of the world’s major hop-growing regions; and the third comprised the 4 main Slovenian regions. The samples were analyzed using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) to obtain δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S values. The δ15N (2.2 ‰ to 8.4 ‰) and δ34S (0.7 ‰ to 12.3 ‰) values were the most discriminating parameters for classifying hop according to geographical origin. ANOVA showed distinct groupings for 8 out of the 10 hop-growing regions. Although it was not possible to distinguish the geographical origin of hops based on δ13C (−28.9 ‰ to −24.7 ‰), in the case of botanical origin, δ13C values proved to be the most discriminative albeit with limited success.