Evaluating Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) as a novel, real-time method for determining beef fatty acid, amino acid, and volatile composition



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This study was aimed for evaluating REIMS to determine the fatty acid, amino acid, and volatile compound composition of beef. The samples utilized in the study, Longissimus lumborum steaks from the anterior portion of the strip loin, were from A maturity carcasses characterized as USDA Prime, Top Choice, Low Choice, or Select, or were characterized as Wagyu, Grassfed, or Dark Cutters. Meat composition was analyzed using established and proven benchtop methods, and REIMS was evaluated as a real-time tool for characterizing meat flavor and healthfulness at the time of grading. To achieve this, 4-day aged samples were analyzed for volatile compounds known to contribute to beef flavor, total fatty acids, and free amino acids. Analysis of compositional elements of meat (amino acids, fatty acids, and volatile compounds) using GC methods showed differences between targeted classification groups of beef. This work has demonstrated the comparable ability of REIMS to use a no-preparation-required sample to achieve a similar result as GC methods for determining the classification of beef. However, methods and operating procedures for spectra collection from a 4 d REIMS sample appeared to produce error in predicting quantities of compounds, as measured by GC methods. There is significant work to be done for the development of REIMS procedures to most appropriately quantify individual compounds in beef samples.



Beef, Beef flavor, Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS), Volatiles, Fatty acids, Free amino acids