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Contemporary Developments and Emerging Trends in the Application of Spectroscopy Techniques: A Particular Reference to Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.)

The number of food frauds in coconut-based products is increasing due to higher consumer demands for these products. Rising health consciousness, public awareness and increased concerns about food safety and quality have made authorities and various other certifying agencies focus more on the authentication of coconut products. As the conventional techniques for determining the quality attributes of coconut are destructive and time-consuming, non-destructive testing methods which are accurate, rapid, and easy to perform with no detrimental sampling methods are currently gaining importance. Spectroscopic methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infrared (IR)spectroscopy, mid-infrared (MIR)spectroscopy, near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Raman spectroscopy (RS) are gaining in importance for determining the oxidative stability of coconut oil, the adulteration of oils, and the detection of harmful additives, pathogens, and toxins in coconut products and are also employed in deducing the interactions in food constituents, and microbial contaminations. The objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive analysis on the various spectroscopic techniques along with different chemometric approaches for the successful authentication and quality determination of coconut products. The manuscript was prepared by analyzing and compiling the articles that were collected from various databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and ScienceDirect. The spectroscopic techniques in combination with chemometrics were shown to be successful in the authentication of coconut products. RS and NMR spectroscopy techniques proved their utility and accuracy in assessing the changes in coconut oil’s chemical and viscosity profile. FTIR spectroscopy was successfully utilized to analyze the oxidation levels and determine the authenticity of coconut oils. An FT-NIR-based analysis of various coconut samples confirmed the acceptable levels of accuracy in prediction. These non-destructive methods of spectroscopy offer a broad spectrum of applications in food processing industries to detect adulterants. Moreover, the combined chemometrics and spectroscopy detection method is a versatile and accurate measurement for adulterant identification.