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Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Applied in the Differentiation of Arabica and Robusta Coffee

DOI: 10.4236/opj.2017.710018, PP. 181-195

Keywords: Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Calibration Curves, Artificial Neural Network (ANN), Multilayer Perceptron

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Coffee is one of the most consumed and commercialized crops in the world, which is why there is a potential risk to find arabica coffee (an expensive variety) adulterated with robusta coffee (a cheaper variety). The currently used technique for certifying coffee, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), requires the sample to be subjected to a chemical treatment prior to analysis; in addition, the equipment is bulky and can not be moved easily. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a technique which does not require that samples be subjected to a chemical pretreatment, and equipment is small and portable, this can save valuable time in coffee trading. The purpose of this research was to demonstrate that LIBS can be applied to solve various problems related with the coffee authentication. Green coffee pills with different concentrations of arabica and robusta varieties were analyzed by LIBS, the results were used in the construction of calibration curves for the detection of the degree of simulated adulteration in coffee. It was found that the relative intensities of Ca (392.4 nm), Sr (407.1 nm), N (500.5 nm) and Na (588.7 nm), as well as the intensity ratios of Ca II (392.4 nm)/N I (500.5 nm), Sr I (407.1 nm)/N I (500.5 nm)and N I (500.5 nm)/Na I (588.7 nm) can be used for this purpose. It is concluded that the differentiation of coffee and the detection of its adulteration is possible with the use of LIBS. Further, with the use of an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) of type Multilayer Perceptron, it was possible to correctly classify the spectra of arabica and robusta roasted coffee.


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