The use of rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) to predict collagen content, solubility and cross-links in beef

Project Details

Status: Completed
Investment: $149,500
Commodity: Beef Cattle
Organization: University of Alberta
Investigator: Heather Bruce

REIMS-based tissue analysis generally takes only a few seconds and can provide histological tissue identification with 90−98% accuracy.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) is a new technology emerging from human medicine that was developed from the iKnife, a medical cutting tool that cauterizes tissue as it cuts. During cauterization, biological volatiles are released and drawn into the REIMS system, with volatile molecules identified and quantified using time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometry.

REIMS-based tissue analysis generally only takes a few seconds and can provide histological tissue identification with 90-98% accuracy. Recent application of REIMS in the meat industry include species authentication, eating quality prediction, and residue testing.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

The molecular signatures produced potentially can be used to predict beef composition, tenderness, flavour, and freshness. This research will examine the ability of this technology to predict beef collagen characteristics and ultimately beef quality as part of developing an online in-plant system to sort beef into categories reflecting tangible differences in processing and eating quality.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Research extensions will include industry events, research events, publication in industry magazines, newspapers and popular press, scientific journals, and other forms of communication like social media, podcasts, and webinars.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.