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Issue 3, 2004
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Characterisation of ‘bog butter’ using a combination of molecular and isotopic techniques

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Abstract

The chemical analyses of ‘bog butters’ recovered from peat bogs of Scotland were performed with the aim of determining their origins. Detailed compositional information was obtained from ‘bog butter’ lipids using high temperature gas chromatography (HTGC) and GC-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results indicate the degree to which ‘bog butters’ have undergone diagenetic alterations during burial to form an adipocere like substance, consisting predominately of hexadecanoic (palmitic) and octadecanoic (stearic) acids. GC-combustion-isotope ratio MS (GC-C-IRMS) was used to determine δ13C values for the dominant fatty acids present, revealing for the first time that ‘bog butters’ were derived from both ruminant dairy fats and adipose fats. The results are compared and contrasted with modern reference fats and adipoceres produced in vitro.

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Article information


Submitted
23 Oct 2003
Accepted
05 Jan 2004
First published
22 Jan 2004

Analyst, 2004,129, 270-275
Article type
Paper

Characterisation of ‘bog butter’ using a combination of molecular and isotopic techniques

R. Berstan, S. N. Dudd, Mark. S. Copley, E. D. Morgan, A. Quye and Richard. P. Evershed, Analyst, 2004, 129, 270
DOI: 10.1039/B313436A

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