ARS creates new fat analysis procedure
7/07/2000-A new analytical technique developed
by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists
simplifies the task of predicting how certain
fats will change during processing and storage.
This could lead to a longer shelf life for
margarines, shortenings, and cooking oils.
ARS chemist William E. Neff and Florida-Atlantic
University researcher W. Craig Byrdwell,
formerly with ARS, developed an analytical
technique to help food manufacturers shave
months off product development. The new technique,
reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography
(HPLC)/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization
(APCI) with mass spectrometry (MS), simplifies
identifying triglycerides. The researchers
can see intact triglycerides before they
break down to form negative byproducts during
storage or high-temperature frying. The technique
is especially helpful for evaluating sunflower
and soybean oils, which have no standard
reference for their chemical composition.
The technique also correlate triglyceride
composition with the physical properties
it imparts to food: melting range, mouth-feel,
and reaction to refrigeration. ARS is USDA's
chief scientific research agency.