Development of a fingerprinting approach for the determination of the geographical origin of vegetable oils

Plant oils are of great importance for the production of biofuels and, in the future, other bioeconomy products. However, in recent years, numerous studies have investigated the extent of global land use changes due to agricultural production and pointed out possible consequences. Land use change in the form of large-scale deforestation on carbon-rich land is associated with negative impacts on ecosystems and carbon release into the atmosphere.

Therefore, efforts are being made within the EU to ensure that imported vegetable oils or their products, especially biofuels, do not come from such illegal cultivation areas. In addition to institutional controls, such as certification systems, analytical and statistical detection methods are essential to check whether feedstock crops have been grown in ecologically sensitive areas such as peatlands or tropical forests.

The project aims to develop a fingerprinting approach for determining the geographical origin of vegetable oils. The term “Fingerprinting approach” refers to a combination of analytical methods and parameters with specific chemometrics, which can be used to group individual samples and establish the necessary group-specific fingerprints of these samples. In contrast to previous fingerprinting approaches, one focus of this project is to group the vegetable oil samples to specific soil properties. Rapeseed from Hesse, grown in croplands with different soil types, and corresponding soil samples will be investigated as model vegetable oil. With this new approach, a much more precise spatial classification with specific soil properties than before should be possible.




TU Darmstadt, Chair of material flow management and resource economy


January 01, 2021 – June 30, 2023

Financing Organization

Fritz und Margot Faudi-Stiftung

Associated partner

Landesbetrieb Landwirtschaft Hessen