Tracing the Dietary Background and Geographical Origin of Animal-derived Foods



May 3, 2016

Consumers are increasingly interested in the dietary background and geographical origin of the animal-derived foods they consume, including meat and dairy products. A range of techniques, involving analysis of elemental and molecular constituents, fingerprint profiling and multivariate statistical analysis, exist and are evolving in the quest to provide robust methods of establishing the dietary background of animals and the geographical origin of the meat and milk derived from them. Among the techniques of use for the authentication of animal-derived foods are stable isotope analysis, the measurement of compounds directly derived from the diet of animals, trace element analysis and spectroscopy. Challenges encountered in the authentication of foods of animal origin include the extent of variation in, and changes to, the feedstuffs consumed by animals during their lifetime. In addition, the slow turnover of elemental and molecular components of tissues, in response to a change in diet, can make the assignment of dietary background and geographical origin elusive.

Food and BeverageSpectroscopy

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