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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Apr 10;61(14):3403-13. doi: 10.1021/jf304515v. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Evaluation of FT-NIR and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy techniques for determination of minor odd- and branched-chain saturated and trans unsaturated milk fatty acids.

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Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality (LANUPRO), Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Melle, Belgium.


Determination of nutritionally important trans MUFA, CLA, and OBCFA milk fatty acids (often present in amounts lower than 1.0 g/100 g of total fat) using fast and nondestructive analytical methods would enhance their use as diagnostic tools in dairy herd and human health management. Here, PLS regression using ATR/FTIR spectra indicated potential for determination of trans-11 C18:1 and trans-12 C18:1 (Rcv² ≥ 0.80), and trans-9 C18:1 in very minor concentration (Rcv² > 0.82), as well as anteiso C15:0 (Rcv² = 0.57) and iso C17:0 (Rcv² = 0.61). Furthermore, the main cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer was predicted well despite the high trans MUFA concentration. Differentiation between the CLA and the trans MUFA signals was evident (based on specific cis/trans bands), and branched-chain saturated fatty acid methyl esters revealed specific iso and anteiso ATR/FTIR absorbance bands. None of the minor FA PLS results with FT-NIR showed interesting potential, except satisfactory predictions for trans-9 C18:1 and cis-9,trans-11 CLA. Overall, ATR/FTIR resulted in better calibrations and provided more specific information for determination of minor milk fatty acids.

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