Food Analysis with FT-NIR Spectroscopy

Testing Meat & Meat Products

Within the meat industry the continuous analysis of fresh meat and other ingredients is necessary in order to adapt the recipes to ensure a constant batch to batch quality of sausages, salami and various other types of meat products.

FT-NIR Spectroscopy offers a lot of advantages over classical wet-chemical and chromatographic analyses. It is very fast with analysis times below 30 seconds, cost-effective and safe, since no hazardous chemicals are used. Today it is widely used in the food industry for non-destructive qualitative and quantitative analysis of raw materials, in-process materials, and finished products throughout the entire manufacturing process:

  • produce a consistently high product quality
  • make the most efficient use of valuable raw materials
  • improve product efficiency and reduce downtime

FT-NIR is a proven analysis method for the determination of moisture, fat, protein and salt content in various types of meat and sausages.

With the growing global demand for meat and meat products it can be a challenge to keep the standard quality requested by the customers. FT-NIR technology being able to provide analysis results in less than a minute has the potential to complement or even substitute a wide range of classical test methods for the quality assessment of meat and meat products in the laboratory as well as on-line.

Analyzing meat with FT-NIR spectroscopy

Analyzing raw meat in a Petri dish using the MPA II FT-NIR spectrometer

Analyzing raw meat

Analyze raw meat with FT-NIR spectroscopy

Meat can be a very complex raw material where small changes in external impacts like animal nutrition can lead to large variation in the final meat quality. Fluctuating fat content in the supplied meat can e.g. be a large problem for a sausage producer if he is not aware of it. Measuring the fat content of carcasses is also often a criterion for the value-based payment of the suppliers. FT-NIR Spectroscopy offers here a valuable tool for assessing the incoming material. The parameters fat, protein and moisture can be determined simultaneously with only one measurement. With the results, decisions can be taken on how to proceed with the production.

Monitoring the final product quality

Quality testing of sausages

In Germany alone, there are more than 1500 different types of sausages available in the shops, including fresh or fresh smoked, dry and cooked sausages, as well as a wide variation of hams. The regulating bodies require the determination of the amount of water, protein and fat in every type of sausage. Moreover, the salt content is of interest for the producer as well as for the customer.

FT-NIR has proven to be an efficient analysis method for the determination of moisture, fat, protein and salt content in various types of sausages. Furthermore the water activity (aW) can be analyzed for the optimization of product shelf life.

Compositional analysis of rendering products

Quality control of rendering products

Approximately 40-50% of the weight of any slaughtered animal is not fit for human consumption. This material is mostly transformed by the rendering industry into highly nutritional ingredients for the animal feed and pet food production.

These include sources of energy like tallow or lard as well as protein rich material like meat and bone meal or poultry meal. FT-NIR is well established for the analysis of edible fats of animal origin where parameters like free fatty acids and iodine value can be analyzed simultaneously. For animal meals the classical constituents like moisture, fat, protein, fiber and ash can be determined as well as more specialized parameters like energy values or amino acid profiles.

Download our application note with more information.

Further Information

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