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  • 1 National Dairy Research Institute Dairy Chemistry Division Karnal 132 001 Haryana India
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Reversed-phase thin-layer chromatography (RP-TLC) is a sensitive, reliable, and reproducible technique, which can analyze a number of components simultaneously. This technique was exploited in the present study to identify the adulteration of vegetable oils (groundnut, soybean, and sunflower oil) in ghee, using the fact that β-sitosterol, an unsaponifiable matter, is present in vegetable oils, while absent in pure ghee. For this, RP-TLC of reference standards, unsaponifiable matter of pure ghee (cow and buffalo), pure vegetable oils, and the ghee adulterated with these vegetable oils (≥1%) was carried out on plates with different stationary phases, viz., RP-18, RP-8, and RP-2 plates using solvent system comprising of petroleum ether, acetonitrile, and methanol. The results revealed that adulteration of vegetable oils in ghee can easily be detected at a level of as low as 1 percent on RP-18 and RP-8 plates, while RP-2 plate did not offer any help in detection of adulteration. Thus, with the help of RP-TLC, a robust technique, the purity of ghee can be screened with respect to the presence of vegetable oils.

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