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NMR and food products
- How does it work?
- What can it be used for?
- What can it not be used for?
- Related Facilities
- Further Information
|Key words||NMR spectroscopy, quality control, phase composition, water content, porosity, permeability, non-invasive, non-destructive|
How does it work?
|Primary objective|| The NMR is an innovative tool to analyse food products because is non-invasive. Some applications of NMR in food are:
• Identification of the structure of organic compounds • Detailed structural information about chemical compounds • Detection of contaminants in food
|Working principle|| Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is based on the measurement of absorbed radiofrequency waves by a sample magnetized into a magnetic field. Modern NMR spectrometers using strong magnets (1 to 20 T) were developed since stronger magnetic fields improve the measurements resolution. Low magnetic field equipments were developed, too, leading to the low cost, robust and easy–to-use benchtop NMR spectrometers. These equipments provide useful information on the surface of solid, soft solid, jelly and liquid samples, on water movement in samples, etc.
The variation of the intensity of absorbed radiofrequency in a sample versus the magnetic field represents the NMR spectrum of the sample. The NMR technique offers information related to the chemical composition and molecular structure of the studied material. NMR spectroscopy permits the study of various physical, chemical, structural and dynamic properties of samples which contain 1H, 13C, 17O, 23N nuclei.
|Additional effects||There are no additional effects.|
|Important process parameters|
|Important product parameters|
What can it be used for?
|Products||The 1H NMR technique can be used for solid, liquid, semi-liquid and semi-solid food products such as fat, sugar, flour, juices, cheeses, emulsions (basically all products containing hydrogen in their composition).|
|Operations|| Quality control and process monitoring during the manufacturing, packaging, shipping or storing of food products.
Specific applications are: • characterization of the energetic status of microbial cells to monitor the fermentation of yoghurts (using phosphorus 31 LR NMR) • examination of cell cultures in the mashing of beer (using proton NMR) • cooking of various types of rice (proton NMR). • determination of solid fat by NMR
NMR can also be used to examine in vitro dynamic processes or structure like textures without the use of any marker compounds or any physical incursion at all beyond a magnetic field.
|Solutions for short comings||NMR can be used as a complementary control method or may replace traditional control methods that are time consuming or are related to some undesired additional effects. NMR is a versatile material characterisation technique. This technology is non-invasive, implies a rapid and precise analysis and can be repeated many times.|
What can it NOT be used for?
|Products||The use of NMR investigation is limited to products containing active NMR nuclei (H, N, Na, P, Si, etc).|
|Other limitations||Price of high resolution NMR and all installation requirements including liquid He are considerable limitations; application of low resolution NMR is restricted because the resolution in low fields is very weak for many products.|
|Risks or hazards|| There are no risks for the food products associated to the use of NMR technique. The use of NMR technique for food quality control does not change the product properties.
When high magnetic field NMR equipments are used, the presence of persons with pacemakers or other metallic implants or carrying metallic objects in the vicinity of the magnets is forbidden.
|Maturity|| The NMR spectroscopy is a well developed and efficient analytical method for high fields. However, new progresses are reported in the field of applications such as food technology.
The use of portable NMR spectrometers is in full progress. Such portable NMR spectrometers are available ready-to-install, with calibration standards and traceable multi-language softwares.
|Modularity /Implementation||Mobile NMR equipments were developed to be implemented on production lines. The use of such portable equipments is simple and do not require special conditions or modifications of the production line.|
|Consumer aspects||NMR is a non-invasive control technique. Since the consumers are familiarized with the use of NMR equipments in medicine as a non-invasive diagnostic technique, they perceive positively its use in food technology [1,2].|
|Legal aspects||There is no EC regulation related to the use of NMR technique in food technology.|
|Environmental aspects||No environmental problems are related to the use of NMR technique.|
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|Institutes||DIL, KULeuven, UTCN, IRTA|