Authentication of beef versus horse meat using 60 MHz H-1 NMR spectroscopy

W. Jakes, A. Gerdova, M. Defernez, A. D. Watson, C. McCallum, E. Limer, I. J. Colquhoun, D. C. Williamson, E. K. Kemsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


This work reports a candidate screening protocol to distinguish beef from horse meat based upon comparison of triglyceride signatures obtained by 60 MHz H-1 NMR spectroscopy. Using a simple chloroform-based extraction, we obtained classic low-field triglyceride spectra from typically a 10 min acquisition time. Peak integration was sufficient to differentiate samples of fresh beef (76 extractions) and horse (62 extractions) using Naive Bayes classification. Principal component analysis gave a. two-dimensional "authentic" beef region (p = 0.001) against which further spectra could be compared. This model was challenged using a subset of 23 freeze thawed training samples. The outcomes indicated that storing samples by freezing does not adversely affect the analysis. Of a further collection of extractions from previously unseen samples, 90/91 beef spectra were classified as authentic, and 16/16 horse spectra as non-authentic. We conclude that 60 MHz 1H NMR represents a feasible high-throughput approach for screening raw meat. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalFood Chemistry
Early online date26 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2015


  • Speciation
  • Beef
  • Horse
  • Meat
  • 60 MHz H-1 NMR
  • Bench-top NMR
  • Triglyceride
  • Authenticity
  • Chemometrics
  • Non-targeted screening
  • PORK
  • NMR

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