Rapid Determination of Moisture and Fat in Meats By Microwave And Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis
Claflin, Amy Elizabeth
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Determination of moisture, fat, protein, and other components of meat is important for the evaluation of the quality of raw materials and finished products, the assessment of process control, and for ensuring regulatory compliance of meat products. Standard methods of analysis may be time- or labor-intensive, expensive, potentially harmful to the user or environment, or may require advanced training for operation of analytical equipment, but technology has allowed the introduction of more rapid methods that require less time, labor, skill, and cost. Microwave drying and nuclear magnetic resonance technologies for the determination of moisture and fat in meat products, respectively, have been incorporated into the CEM Smart Trac 5 System?, an instrument designed for the rapid analysis of moisture and fat in various food products. The CEM Smart Trac 5 System?, approved as an AOAC Peer Verified Method, was used in a collaborative study for the rapid determination of moisture and fat in a variety of raw and processed meat products of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey origin. The objective of the study was to determine if the CEM Smart Trac 5 System? could analyze moisture and fat in meat products with the same accuracy and precision as standard methods of analysis as specified by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). Meat products were obtained from various commercial sources, homogenized, and distributed to 10 collaborative laboratories. Each collaborative laboratory evaluated the fat and moisture content of each meat product samples provided using the CEM Smart Trac 5 System?. Two standard methods of analysis, Forced Air Drying Method (AOAC Official Method 950.46) and Soxhlet Extraction of Crude Fat (AOAC Official Method 960.39), were performed on each sample for comparison to the Smart Trac 5 System?. Ten replicates were analyzed by the reference methods to achieve an analytical variance of no more than + 2%. Data collected from the reference methods for moisture (AOAC 950.46) and fat (AOAC 960.39) were used for the calibration of each of the CEM Smart Trac 5 Systems? and for comparison to the results produced by the Smart Trac 5 System? in each of the collaborative laboratories. The results indicated that the CEM Smart Trac 5 System? compares favorably with the AOAC methods for moisture and fat determination. The CEM Smart Trac 5 System? would be suitable for the rapid determination of moisture and fat in a variety of commercially produced raw and processed meat and poultry products. Statistical analysis confirmed the within-laboratory repeatability qualities of AOAC methods and provided a baseline for comparing the between-laboratory reproducibility potential of the CEM Smart Trac 5 System?. For all samples evaluated, the within-laboratory (repeatability) results and between-laboratory (reproducibility) results for moisture were acceptable. With the exception of low-fat ham, diluted low-fat ham, low-fat pork, diluted low-fat pork, diluted low-fat chicken, low-fat turkey, and diluted low-fat turkey, the within-laboratory (repeatability) results and between-laboratory (reproducibility) results for fat were acceptable. This study revealed that meat samples that have a very low concentration of fat (i.e. <3% fat) yielded relative standard deviation values (> 2%) that were not acceptable by AOAC standards.