Isotope Hunter

Tracking origins and tracing identity: the Isotope Hunter follows the clues that history leaves behind in food or fiber, liquid or stone. Capture your samples’ stories with Thermo Scientific’s portfolio of isotope ratio mass spectrometers.

Follow the Isotope Hunter as he investigates the origin and authenticity of samples with isotope fingerprints. Using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), the Isotope Hunter gains access to information on geographic region, botanical processes, soil and fertilization processes, and fraudulent practices. Are you an Isotope Hunter?

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This e-learning module will introduce you to isotope fingerprints and how they are used to find answers to sample origin and authenticity. Start your journey to become an Isotope Hunter today!

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Follow isotope fingerprints and uncover the history of your samples

Samples have an isotope fingerprint, a unique chemical signature that allows their history to be identified. To visualize this fingerprint, isotope ratio mass spectrometry is used. IRMS traces carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen isotopes by detecting their natural variations, revealing the origin and history of samples.

Isotope fingerprints contain unique information about tested samples and are used in the following applications:

  • Food integrity: To investigate and verify the origin and authenticity of food and beverage samples.
  • Forensic investigation: To examine the differences and similarities of material samples as well as their origin.
  • Environmental analysis: To identify environmental sample as well as pollution origin and sources.  

Isotope fingerprints for forensic investigations

Isotope fingerprints for forensic investigations

During forensic investigations, samples are examined to determine their similarities or differences to each other, or to identify material origin. Identifying sample variation or origin is easily achieved because all materials have a unique chemical signature, which operates much like a fingerprint.

This chemical fingerprint can be visualized by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS), which measures the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, or oxygen isotopes in the sample and their variations. Isotopic measurements provide quantitative and empirical data that are reproducible and easy to validate.

Discover how isotope fingerprints can be used for forensic investigations by reading the following resources:


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Investigate Isotope Fingerprints with the Isotope Hunter

The Isotope Fingerprints and what they tell us

The Isotope Hunter follows the clues that history leaves behind in foods or fibers, liquids or stone. Coffee, tequila, hair, and pollution...reveal a great deal about their true histories through their isotope fingerprints.

Find out what isotope fingerprints tell us about different sample applications by clicking on the infographics below.