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Where's the genuine beef?

发布时间:2019-03-07 08:10:13来源:未知点击:

By Jens Thomas FRAUDSTERS who fill foodstuffs with offal instead of meat will soon find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, according to a team of chemists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich. The researchers have developed an analytical technique that uses infrared spectroscopy to distinguish between lean meat, offal and fat, and between beef, pork and other meats. “There are a lot of issues about the adulteration of meat,” says Gordon Gresty, head of trading standards for North Yorkshire County Council. “If you take BSE, the public might see it as quite a serious problem if people are putting beef in lamb mince.” But it’s easy at present for unscrupulous food producers to do so, or supplement their meat products with fat or unsavoury bits of intestine and other offal—leaving consumers none the wiser. Now Katherine Kemsley and her colleagues at the IFR have adapted the technique of infrared spectroscopy to provide a quick and easy method for analysing meat on an industrial scale. They will publish their results in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . The ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrate in animal tissue varies depending on its type: steak contains more fat than intestines, for example. Each kind of tissue can only absorb certain wavelengths of infrared light—so, by exposing samples to a range of frequencies from infrared lamps and seeing which ones are absorbed, it’s possible to take an infrared “fingerprint”. Computer analysis of this reveals what type of tissue the sample contains. The idea for the test came from a guest researcher at the IFR, Osama Al-Jowder, who was looking for a quick, nondestructive method to detect pork in meat imported into Bahrain, an Islamic state. The technique should be suitable for screening large batches,