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Keywords:

  • NMR relaxometry;
  • chemical extraction;
  • lipids;
  • muscle;
  • fish;
  • trout

Abstract

A low-cost, accurate NMR method was developed to determine the lipid content in fish flesh. The fish samples are dried before NMR measurements, and the method is self-calibrated with an oil reference. The NMR technique gave an intermediate fat content value, 4.7% lower in relative value than those obtained by a chemical cold extraction method and 6.7% higher than those from a petroleum ether extraction method at high temperature. Taking into account this systematic bias, the prediction error was only 3 g kg−1 fat content between NMR and Soxhlet method determinations (R2 = 0.98). The NMR technique thus offers a promising alternative method for determining the lipid content in previously dried fish flesh, since it is rapid, easily usable and solvent-free, unlike chemical extraction methods. Furthermore, this accurate NMR method should be valuable to calibrate the fast but less accurate NMR, NIR and microwave methods based on fresh samples and to estimate the fat content in other animal meats when the fat is maintained in an amorphous state.

© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry