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  • 1 Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Martonvásár, Hungary
  • 2 Hungarian Meat Research Institute H-1097 Budapest, Gubacsi út 6/b. Hungary
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Development of rapid methods is often needed for the in-line process control of the proximate composition (e.g. fat or moisture content) of meat in the meat processing plants. This paper reports on the continuous wave nuclear magnetic resonance (CW-NMR) technique applied for determining fat content in fresh meat. The interfering moisture content in meat was removed by microwave drying and the dried residue was transferred quantitatively into the NMR-tubes. The total analysis time was about 35 min. Experiments were performed with pork (with a fat content from 1.7% to 21%), beef (with a fat content from 1.0% to 16.1%), lard (rendered pork fat) and tallow (rendered beef fat) samples and with their combinations: lard-tallow, lard-lean pork, tallow-lean beef and lard-tallow-lean beef-lean pork. The regression (prediction) equations (NMR-signal vs. fat content determined with the Soxhlet reference method) of pork and beef did not differ significantly. However, there was a noticeable difference between the regression lines of pure lard and pure tallow. Moreover, the latter ones differed from the regression equations of pork, beef and of the various meat-fat combinations. The variability of the fatty acid composition of the fat also seems to influence the stability of the calibration curves, because the sensitivity of the CW-NMR signal to the fatty acid composition interferes with the quantitative determination of fat content in meat.

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