CAN THO CITY DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Application of atomic energy in Vietnam: Focus on developing some new applications
To contribute to spreading its role in solving many meaningful and practical problems with socio-economic life, the atomic energy industry will need to focus on developing a number of new applications, such as traceability, green agriculture and disease control and etc.

MSc. Ha Lan Anh was in the isotope hydrology laboratory. Photo: NVCC

At the online workshop "Application of Atomic Energy for Socio-Economic Development" organized by the Professional and Scientific Research Committee of the Youth Union of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Youth Union of the Vietnam Institute of Renewable Energy, the Youth Union of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the the Department of Radiation and Nuclear Safety held on August 28, MSc. Ha Lan Anh (Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Vietnam Institute of Renewable Energy) has provided a lot of interesting information that not everyone knows about the application of nuclear technology through its new research. Authentic nuclear technology actually blends sugar in juice products. Although starting to appear in the 1980s, the application of stable isotopes for traceability in the world has only grown strongly in the last 10 years.

As one of the pioneers of research on the application of stable isotopes in traceability in Vietnam, MSc. Ha Lan Anh shared, “In food forensics research, the world has researched, developed and applied heavy isotope analysis techniques to distinguish between chemically identical materials, such as sucrose from sugar beet and sugarcane.”

This technique helps determine if juice, or beetroot, has added sugar from the outside to the pure product. “To differentiate, it is possible to rely on the fixation of carbon dioxide in plants causing isotope segregation in C3, C4 and CAM plants,” she explains, adding that most of the syrups and sugars that are C4 plant products are rich in isotope values δ13C, so adding sugar products from C4 plants to C3 products will increase the isotope value.

She and her research team collected nine samples of popular apple juice in the market and discovered that one product contained actual ingredients that did not match the label. Although the label states that the added amount of C4 sugar is only 5%, according to the analysis results, this product is a mixture of 96% C4 sugar and flavoring. Similarly, with orange juice samples, the team collected 13 samples and including 1 apple juice sample from Thailand despite claiming to be 100% natural orange juice without sugar cane, but the analysis team had 44 % is the C4 sugar. "With this technique, market managers, manufacturers, and consumers can apply this technique to prove and authenticate the origin of sugar in products," concludes MSc Ha Lan Anh.

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