Track 1-08

Description

As consumer interest in the link between diet and human health and in the ethics of food production increases assurances about the background origin of food are sought. In the case of animal-derived foods, such as meat, the animal’s diet is an intrinsic component of the food’s production and of its subsequent nutritional quality. Thus, there is a need to develop ways of validating the authenticity of the animal diet. Among the approaches to authenticate the background diet of ruminants is the measurement of components in meat (muscle and adipose tissue) and other tissues that are directly influenced by the diet, including fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, volatile organic compounds and elemental stable isotope ratios, as well as measurement of indirect indices such as spectral properties. While each is useful in its own right, the reliability of different measurements, for diet authentication purposes, depends on the sensitivity of the analytes measured to changes in diet, and on tissue turnover in response to changes in dietary constituents. Of the analyses discussed, stable isotope analysis in muscle and incremental tissues is presented as a particularly powerful tool for diet reconstruction.

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Developing a Diet Authentication System from the Composition of Meat in Ruminants

As consumer interest in the link between diet and human health and in the ethics of food production increases assurances about the background origin of food are sought. In the case of animal-derived foods, such as meat, the animal’s diet is an intrinsic component of the food’s production and of its subsequent nutritional quality. Thus, there is a need to develop ways of validating the authenticity of the animal diet. Among the approaches to authenticate the background diet of ruminants is the measurement of components in meat (muscle and adipose tissue) and other tissues that are directly influenced by the diet, including fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, volatile organic compounds and elemental stable isotope ratios, as well as measurement of indirect indices such as spectral properties. While each is useful in its own right, the reliability of different measurements, for diet authentication purposes, depends on the sensitivity of the analytes measured to changes in diet, and on tissue turnover in response to changes in dietary constituents. Of the analyses discussed, stable isotope analysis in muscle and incremental tissues is presented as a particularly powerful tool for diet reconstruction.