Differentiation of animal fats from different origins: Use of polymorphic features detected by raman spectroscopy

Michiyo Motoyama, Masahiro Ando, Keisuke Sasaki, Hiro O. Hamaguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Food safety requires the development of reliable techniques that ensure the origin of animal fats. In the present work, we try to verify the efficacy of using the polymorphic features of fats for discriminating animal-fat origins. We use Raman spectroscopy to collect the structural information of fat crystals. It is shown that a single Raman band at 1417 cm-1 successfully differentiates pork fats from beef fats. This band is known to be characteristic of the β′-polymorph of fats. Pork fats show this band because they contain the β′-polymorph after rapid cooling to 0 °C. In beef-pork-fat mixtures, this band is not detected even in the presence of 50% pork fat; an addition of beef fat to pork fat is likely to produce a mixed fat with a completely different polymorphic behavior. This method seems to have the potential to detect beef products contaminated with pork-adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1250
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Beef tallow
  • Crystal
  • Lard
  • Polymorphism
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Triacylglycerol
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • β′- polymorph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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