Simultaneous imaging of fat crystallinity and crystal polymorphic types by Raman microspectroscopy

Michiyo Motoyama*, Masahiro Ando, Keisuke Sasaki, Ikuyo Nakajima, Koichi Chikuni, Katsuhiro Aikawa, Hiro O. Hamaguchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The crystalline states of fats, i.e., the crystallinity and crystal polymorphic types, strongly influence their physical properties in fat-based foods. Imaging of fat crystalline states has thus been a subject of abiding interest, but conventional techniques cannot image crystallinity and polymorphic types all at once. This article demonstrates a new technique using Raman microspectroscopy for simultaneously imaging the crystallinity and polymorphic types of fats. The crystallinity and β′ crystal polymorph, which contribute to the hardness of fat-based food products, were quantitatively visualized in a model fat (porcine adipose tissue) by analyzing several key Raman bands. The emergence of the β crystal polymorph, which generally results in food product deterioration, was successfully imaged by analyzing the whole fingerprint regions of Raman spectra using multivariate curve resolution alternating least squares analysis. The results demonstrate that the crystalline states of fats can be nondestructively visualized and analyzed at the molecular level, in situ, without laborious sample pretreatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalFood Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1


  • Fat crystalline states
  • Lard
  • Meat
  • Microstructures
  • Physical properties
  • Raman imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


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