Submitted to: Journal of Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2000
Publication Date: 12/1/2000
Citation: WINDHAM, W.R., FIELD, R.A. EFFECT OF METHOD OF ANALYSIS ON IRON CONTENT OF BEEF FROM ADVANCED MEAT RECOVERY SYSTEM. JOURNAL OF MEAT SCIENCE. 2000. Interpretive Summary: The Food Safety Inspection Service conducted a survey to gather chemical data on lean meat obtained from beef neck bones processed by advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems and to compare product characteristics with hand-deboned meat. As a result, they proposed an added iron performance standard to limit the amount of marrow in AMR products. However, the meat processing industry and others in academia raised concerns over the low iron data reported in the survey. In this study, we found that the low iron data were due to incomplete removal of the organic matter in the meat sample prior to iron analysis. New iron data from a dry ash method was double those obtained by the original wet ash method. The performance standards developed from the wet and dry ash methods were 1.8 and 3.2 mg/100g. However, the performance standard may not be accurate because iron increases from pressing bone independent of marrow content.
Technical Abstract: A field survey was conducted by the USDA, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) to provide analytical data on meat obtained from beef cervical vertebrae processed by advanced meat recovery (AMR) systems. As a result, an added iron performance standard was proposed to limit the amount of marrow in AMR products. The performance standard was based on iron content of hand boned when compared to AMR products. Iron in meat was determined by a hydrochloric wet ash digestion method. The same samples were then analyzed using dry ash digestion. The objectives of the study were to determine the difference in iron content of the Survey samples due to digestion method and the impact of this difference on the added iron performance standard. Iron values by the dry ash method were approximately double those of the wet ash method. The difference was a result of incomplete volatilization of the organic matrix by hydrochloric acid. The performance standards developed from the wet and dry ash methods were 1.8 and 3.2 mg iron 100-1 g , respectively. Added iron levels from the dry ash method greater that 3.2 mg 100-1 g were present in 49% of the AMR products indicating that some marrow was present or that factors other than amount of iron in hand boned meat should be considered before a performance standard is established.