BIO-IMAGING IN OUR KITCHENS: TO THE DISCOVERY OF PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL ORIGIN

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Silvia Clotilde Modina *
Cristian Bernardi
Erminio Trevisi
Grazia Pastorelli
Mauro Di Giancamillo
(*) Autore principale:
Silvia Clotilde Modina | silvia.modina@unimi.it

Abstract

The growing demand for real-time monitoring of food products has encouraged the use of rapid, accurate and non-destructive techniques, which are able to guarantee safe and high quality products on the market. In recent years, industries have invested in image diagnostic techniques (IDT), such as spectral and hyperspectral imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT). These techniques are frequently used to evaluate the structure and microstructure of meat and fish products, and/or to monitor the changes that occur during their processing and ripening. Recently IDT have been successfully applied to the evaluation of cured meats of the Italian tradition. With our research we visualize the marbling of both fresh and frozen bovine cuts of meat intended for the production of “Bresaola” by CT in parallel with histological and biochemical analyses. CT allowed selecting in a quick non-destructive way the “leanest” cuts of meat, to be used for the production of good quality Bresaola and to optimize the processing times. Similar analyses have been applied to Parma ham and “Nero di Parma” to characterize the two dry-cured hams on the basis of the quali-quantitative levels of adipose tissue infiltrates. Finally, by IDT we identified big fishes when marketed as slices. Using MRI we demonstrated that it is possible to distinguish the swordfish (Xiphias gladius) from the mako shark (Isurus oxyrhincus) slices, by the position of Vogt muscle: this allows to reduce the sales of low quality commercial products (mako shark), instead of high quality ones (swordfish), to protect consumers and limit commercial frauds.


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