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Can the New Spectroscopy be Relied Upon to Deliver Improved Meat Quality?

Food and Beverages | Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Following the advancement in technology in the meat industry, a new innovation has provided new opportunities for evaluating meat quality.

FREMONT, CA: With each passing day, new novel technologies and disruptive innovations are emerging that are impacting the traditional meat sector.

Recently, researchers at Sechenov University, Moscow, along with their colleagues from Australia, have introduced an affordable and quicker method to analyze the quality of the meat, based on exposing a small sample to UV light and determining the spectrum of emission. Traditionally, the specialists evaluate the beef quality by assessing its color, pattern of fibers, and carcass weight. However, this technique is time-consuming and depends on experts’ subjective opinions.

Its proposed alternative is fluorescence spectroscopy, as it possesses the ability to identify and measure the concentration of numerous compounds that emit light of a certain frequency range. These substances comprise many organic molecules that can be found in meat. The scientists who developed fluorescence spectroscopy linked the spectrum of the meat’s fluorescence with its quality, which is defined by three categories—MSA3, MSA4, and MSA5. Afterward, the histological analysis determined the concentration of water and fat in samples and verified the results.

Researchers made use of five pieces of meat for every category. MSA5 displays slices of the finest quality, with NSA3, marks the lowest amongst the qualified meat types. Each of the six samples of size 8 mm was cut from distinct sites of the meat steaks, where the relative content of muscle tissues and fat varied. The samples were then exposed to light with the wavelength of 250-350 nm and measured fluorescence’s spectrum in a range of 285-635 nm. The emission’s intensity was set on the matrix ‘frequency of excitation — frequency of emission.’

The study was based on the principle, the detection of particular autofluorescence of numerous tissue components, which enables assessment of the structure and functional state of tissues without taking tissue fragments for histological and biochemical analysis.

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