• fatty acid;
  • frankfurter;
  • ground beef;
  • irradiation;
  • trans fat

ABSTRACT:  This study was conducted to investigate possible formation of trans fatty acids due to irradiation of ground beef and frankfurters. Ground beef and frankfurter samples were irradiated at doses of 0, 1, and 5 kGy at 4 °C, and stored at 4 °C for 7 d (ground beef) or 3 mo (frankfurters). After irradiation and storage of the samples, trans fatty acids along with other fatty acids were analyzed using a modification of AOAC method 996.01. The results showed that 1 kGy irradiation did not induce any change in trans fatty acid content. However, 5 kGy irradiation caused a small but statistically significant (P < 0.01) increase in the dominant trans fatty acid, C18:1 trans, which increased from 3.99% (of total fatty acid) for the nonirradiated ground beef to 4.05% for the 5 kGy sample, and from 1.21% for the nonirradiated frankfurter to 1.28% for the 5 kGy sample. Irradiation had no apparent effect on C16:1 and C18:2 trans fatty acids. In addition, irradiation slightly decreased the relative amount of poly-unsaturated fatty acid of ground beef and frankfurters, particularly after storage. Compared to variations in trans fatty acid content and fatty acid composition occurring naturally in meat and meat products, the changes due to irradiation were negligible.