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Innovative technology for measuring fat content in food


Researchers from the Rzeszów University of Technology, comprising Dr Krzysztof Tereszkiewicz, Dr Łukasz Kulig from the Department of Computer Science in Management at the Faculty of Management, and Dr Henryk Wachta from the Department of Power Electronics and Electrical Power Engineering at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, have developed an innovative technology for measuring fat content in food. For this, they used surface luminance distribution.

Measurements of surface luminance distribution as a light technique, which until now has been better known for its applications in the fields of architecture and road construction, among others, has been adopted by Dr Tereszkiewicz’s team in food technology.

Thanks to the cooperation of scientists specialising in various fields of knowledge, luminance measurement was successfully applied to research involving the assessment of intramuscular fat content in meat products. 

The invention makes use of the phenomenon of luminance differences between fat and muscle tissue, proven by the authors. The measurement consists of taking a photograph (image) of the surface of the muscle sample. After registration, the overall image is converted into a luminance distribution map and then subjected to computer processing, which involves identifying individual areas of the surface in the direction of fat and meat identification. 

The developed algorithm describing the relationship between fat and meat surface area allows the intramuscular fat content of the sample to be determined directly. Compared to the commonly used classic fat extraction method, the new method is highly environmentally friendly. It reduces the use of chemical reagents and eliminates the difficulties associated with the disposal of their residues. It reduces the time required for analysis, is non-invasive and low-cost.

Adrian Andrzejewski

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