Differentiation of cumin seeds using a metal-oxide based gas sensor array in tandem with chemometric tools

Talanta. 2018 Jan 1:176:221-226. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2017.08.024. Epub 2017 Aug 9.


Cumin is a plant of the Apiaceae family (umbelliferae) which has been used since ancient times as a medicinal plant and as a spice. The difference in the percentage of aromatic compounds in cumin obtained from different locations has led to differentiation of some species of cumin from other species. The quality and price of cumin vary according to the specie and may be an incentive for the adulteration of high value samples with low quality cultivars. An electronic nose simulates the human olfactory sense by using an array of sensors to distinguish complex smells. This makes it an alternative for the identification and classification of cumin species. The data, however, may have a complex structure, difficult to interpret. Given this, chemometric tools can be used to manipulate data with two-dimensional structure (sensor responses in time) obtained by using electronic nose sensors. In this study, an electronic nose based on eight metal oxide semiconductor sensors (MOS) and 2D-LDA (two-dimensional linear discriminant analysis), U-PLS-DA (Partial least square discriminant analysis applied to the unfolded data) and PARAFAC-LDA (Parallel factor analysis with linear discriminant analysis) algorithms were used in order to identify and classify different varieties of both cultivated and wild black caraway and cumin. The proposed methodology presented a correct classification rate of 87.1% for PARAFAC-LDA and 100% for 2D-LDA and U-PLS-DA, indicating a promising strategy for the classification different varieties of cumin, caraway and other seeds.

Keywords: 2D-LDA; Classification; Cumin seeds; Electronic nose; U-PLS-DA.

MeSH terms

  • Carum / classification*
  • Cuminum / classification*
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Electronic Nose*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Metals / chemistry
  • Oxides / chemistry
  • Seeds / classification*


  • Metals
  • Oxides