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Determination of Moisture and Fat in Meats by Microwave and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis: Collaborative Study

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Ten laboratories participated in a collaborative study to determine the total moisture and fat in raw and processed meat products by microwave drying and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Meat products were prepared following the AOAC Method and analyzed using CEM Corp.'s SMART Trac Moisture and Fat Analysis system. SMART Trac provides moisture results by measuring the weight loss on drying by microwave energy. The dried sample is then analyzed by NMR spectrometry for fat content. Moisture and fat results are displayed and reported by the SMART Trac as a percentage (g/100 g). Microwave drying is an AOAC-approved reference method (Method 985.14), Moisture in Meat and Poultry Products. NMR spectrometry is a secondary technique used to determine the concentration of various constituents in biological, organic, or chemical samples. The study design was based on Youden's matched pair principle for collaborative tests. For the purposes of this study, 10 laboratories each tested 10 Youden matched pairs, for a total of 20 samples. The study samples represented a range of products processed daily in plant operations. Included were raw meat samples (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey) as well as processed meats (beef hot dog, pork sausage, and ham). The total moisture content of the undiluted samples, as received for the purposes of this study, was determined by AOAC Method 950.46 and ranged from 54.03 to 74.99. The total fat content of the undiluted samples was determined by AOAC Method 960.39 and ranged from 1.00 to 29.79. Statistical analysis of study results for total moisture yielded a relative standard deviation for repeatability (RSDr) range of 0.14 to 0.95 and a relative standard deviation for reproducibility (RSDR) range of 0.26 to 0.95. Statistical analysis for total fat yielded similar RSDr and RSDR range of 0.74 to 4.08. Results for turkey had higher RSDr and RSDR values, both at 12.6, due to low fat content and possibly to the separation of the samples observed by some of the collaborators. Results demonstrate that microwave drying with NMR is a rapid, practical method providing results equivalent to AOAC Methods 950.46 (Forced Air Oven Drying) and 960.39 (Soxhlet Ether Extraction) in raw and processed meat products.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CEM Corp., 3100 Smith Farm Rd, Matthews, NC 28104. 2: Texas A&M University, Department of Animal Science, 2471 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2471.

Publication date: 2008-07-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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