The Prunus genus
Natural Prunus essential oils, commonly known as bitter almond essential oils, are recognized in the flavor and fragrance industry for their sweet, powerful, and typical almond aroma with a pleasant cherry note.
They are increasingly used in fine perfumery in alcoholic products as well as in carbonated, alcoholic, and fruit-based drinks.
Several species are at the origin of these oils: ripe almonds of bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus, synonym of Prunus dulcis), apricots (Prunus armeniaca), peaches (Prunus persica), or other almonds like cherries (Cerasus species) and plums (Prunus domestica).
Genetic Authentication and Traceability
Genetic authentication and traceability from raw materials to products is becoming essential for consumers and the cosmetics, flavor, fragrance and nutraceutical industries.
The objective of the study was to provide complete traceability of the raw material, i.e. the almonds, the vegetable oils, and the oil cakes before distillation into essential oil.
We analyzed 9 samples from two plant species. We identified the raw materials and traced their DNA in all products, except for the essential oil which no longer contains DNA.
These results confirm that authentication can be performed on oilcakes with long genetic markers (400-1300 bp) and that the two species of interest correspond to their vernacular names. Furthermore, the process of transforming almonds into almond oilcakes does not alter the quality and quantity of DNA, which allows this type of product to be analyzed with a genetic identification approach such as barcoding.
This study shows that barcoding and metabarcoding analyses are powerful tools that allow us to identify and trace plant DNA from raw materials to products. Using these two approaches allows researchers to authenticate and trace raw materials in
vegetable oils and oilcakes.
For more information : Genetic-Traceability-of-the-Bitter-Almond-Essential-Oil-Supply-Chain