Quality control is an important part of any production process. A series of checks on a randomly selected product tells you whether its quality meets the required standards. The TRiCAM is a fast and accurate instrument for quality control.

Taotao Mu at the Beijing Institute of Technology developed a method to quickly determine the fluorescent fingerprint of both motor oils and edible oils. Consistent production quality is critical for these products, making quick and reliable quality control all the more important.

Mu uses a gated TRiCAM and a pulsed laser for his experiments. He studies the decay of the fluorescence light intensity after excitation at several wavelengths. From this data, he compiles a contour diagram of fluorescence intensity: the equivalent of a fluorescent fingerprint of the oil. This allows him to tell apart wide varieties of oils.

Contour diagrams of fluorescence intensities of (a) olive, (b) rapeseed, (c) grapeseed, (d) soybean, (e) corn, (f, g, h) peanut oils. The fluorescence wavelength and detection time after the excitation light pulse are used as axes.

The TRiCAM can record images using gate widths down to less than 3 ns. By carefully synchronizing the laser and the camera, the decay of the fluorescence light intensity can be studied in great detail.

For more information, please refer to our application note about time-resolved fluorescence in the analysis of edible oils.