A discussion about the potentials and pitfalls of quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (qNMR) spectroscopy in food science and beyond

Dirk W. Lachenmeiera*, Torsten Schönbergerb, Sebastian Ehnic, Birk Schützd, Manfred Sprauld
aChemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany. Corresponding Author: [email protected]
bBundeskriminalamt, Kriminaltechnisches Institut, KT 12, 65173 Wiesbaden, Germany. E-Mail: [email protected]
cChemCon GmbH Freiburg, Engesserstr. 4b, 79108 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. E-Mail: [email protected]
dBruker Biospin GmbH, Siberstreifen, 76287 Rheinstetten, Germany. E-Mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

During the XIII International Conference on the Applications of Magnetic Resonance in Food Science, which was held in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 7th to 10th of June 2016, a discussion session entitled “Quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (qNMR)” was organized. The conference participants had the opportunity to submit written questions as well as to ask ad-hoc questions during the session, which were to be answered by a panel of qNMR experts from several application fields. This article provides an edited and referenced transcript of the session. The major topics were centred on instrumental requirements for qNMR, and the participants were in agreement that modern digital NMR spectrometers guarantee a long-term stability of measurements and calibrations, sometimes over several years. However, the panel also agreed that method validation is an absolute necessity in qNMR as in every other field of quantitative analytical chemistry. Validation strategies may depend on the purpose of the method and vary between multi-component analyses of foods and beverages, compared to single target assays e.g. in verification of reference standards. Approaches to establish limits of detection and to ensure the required method accuracy were suggested. The discussion was closed with a general agreement of the experts that qNMR in food science will gain a wider application range in the future. The necessity to abolish regulatory hindrances – including the approval of using qNMR in reference methods – was stressed.


(since August 2017)