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Fluorescence Spectroscopy Helps to Evaluate Meat Quality

17 декабря 2019 года
Фото: Deposiphotos

Scientists of Sechenov University (a Project 5-100 participant) jointly with their colleagues from Australia proposed a new, quicker and cheaper way to assess meat quality. It is based on exposing a small sample to UV light and measuring the spectrum of emission. The method proved to be precise in the classification of meat into standard quality categories. The description of the method and the results of the work were published in Journal of Biophotonics.

Conventionally, to evaluate the quality of beef, specialists pay attention to its colour, pattern of the fibers (marbling), carcass weight etc. But such measurement is time-consuming and relies on a subjective opinion of the experts to a significant extent. Fluorescence spectroscopy can become an alternative: it allows to detect and measure the concentration of various compounds that can emit light of a specific frequency range. These substances include many organic molecules which can be found in meat.

Earlier studies described the spectrum of fluorescence of some meat ingredients (various cell types of muscle, adipose (fat), connective tissue); several scientific groups tried to use these data to assess particular characteristics of the product, e.g. the percentage of connective tissue or fatty acids. The authors of the paper in Journal of Biophotonics linked the spectrum of the fluorescence of meat with its quality defined by 3 categories: MSA3, MSA4 or MSA5. The results were additionally validated by histological (cell and tissue) analysis of the samples and measuring the concentrations of water and fat in them.

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