Editor's Note
The high cost of saw palmetto has contrinbuted to the development of designer blends of fatty acids to mimic saw palmetto oil's phytochemical profile. The authors of this study investigated the combined use of isotopic fingerprint and omic analysis, using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to handle the complex databases generated by these techniques and to identify the possible source of the adulterants.
Saw palmetto ( Serenoa repens , SP) is the most expensive oil source of the pharmaceutical and healthfood market, and its high cost and recurrent shortages have spurred the development of designer blends of fatty acids to mimic its  phytochemical  profile and fraudulently comply with the current authentication assays. To detect this adulteration, the combined use of isotopic fingerprint and omic analysis has been investigated, using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to handle the complex databases generated by these techniques and to identify the possible source of the adulterants. Surprisingly, the presence of fatty acids of animal origin turned out to be widespread in commercial samples of saw palmetto oil.