Journal of chromatography. A

Simultaneous extraction and derivatization of amino acids and free fatty acids in meat products.

PMID 22560349


In meat products the contents of free amino acids and free fatty acids are two important parameters used to establish their quality. These compounds play a very important role in defining the sensorial characteristics and acceptability of meat products. An innovative procedure for the measurement of free amino acid and fatty acid contents in meat and meat derivatives was developed. A single experiment can be performed in order to determine simultaneously the free amino acid and free fatty acid profiles. The analytes of interest are rapidly extracted from the meat matrix and derivatized by using methyl chloroformate. This reagent allows the transformation of the two groups of analytes into the corresponding N-methyloxycarbonyl amino acid methyl esters and fatty acid methyl esters that can easily be extracted and sampled for their further identification and quantitation. The measurement of the obtained amino acid and fatty acid derivatives is performed by GC/MS analysis and their concentrations are calculated by using two appropriate internal standards. The main advantage of the proposed protocol is the determination at the same time of two important classes of analytes that are of great importance in food analysis and characterization. Moreover, minimal sample manipulation and preparation, and reduced total extraction times are required to obtain the response with respect to conventional procedures, in which instead the analysis of both the two classes of compounds must be performed separately. The helpfulness of the protocol was tested in the analysis of a cured meat product that is typical of the South of Italy. The optimized protocol successfully allowed the determination of thirteen free amino acids and six free fatty acids, namely those most abundant in the lipid content of the cured meat product under evaluation.

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Methyl chloroformate, 99%