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Application of Stable Isotope and Multi-Element Analysis in the Origin Traceability of Teak (Tectona spp.) Imported into China

Teak (Tectona spp.) is a precious species with high commercial value. Its characteristics vary from different growth regions, and its value will also be different. There has been a lack of reliable technological means to trace the origin of teak from various countries. In this study, we collected samples of teak trees in Myanmar, Cote d'Ivoire, and Panama from the ports where timber is imported into China to measure the content of 11 elements and the ratios of stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N, which are used by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). Furthermore, software for statistical analysis, such as SPSS and SIMCA, was utilized to explore the statistical correlations of difference factors among samples from different countries and assess the application values of origin traceability. The results revealed significant differences (p<0.05) in the content of Rb, Sr, and Ba, as well as three rare earth elements (REEs)—La, Ce, and Nd—among the teak samples from the three countries. Moreover, a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the δ13C and δ15N values, indicating significant differences (p<0.05) in δ13C between the samples from Myanmar and those from Cote d'Ivoire and Panama. However, the δ13C analysis alone was not effective in discriminating the samples from Cote d'Ivoire and Panama. In addition, an orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) was conducted by combining isotope ratios and element content. This analysis resulted in an accuracy of 92.3% in discriminating between teak samples from the three countries, indicating a good level of discrimination. As such, it becomes feasible to achieve a certain degree of origin traceability for teak using δ13C as the main difference factor for significance testing. The discriminant analysis combining isotope ratios and element content enhances the discrimination accuracy, which can be applied to trace the origin of teak imported from different regions.

Tectona spp., Origin Traceability, Multi-Element, Stable Isotope Ratio, Import

Haibo Wang, Bo Lu, Xiaowei Kang, Ming Ma, Jianguo Chen. (2023). Application of Stable Isotope and Multi-Element Analysis in the Origin Traceability of Teak (Tectona spp.) Imported into China. Journal of Plant Sciences, 11(4), 144-149.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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