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MEAT Trac Technology

The MEAT Trac System uses a unique combination of microwave and NMR technology to create an analyzer that directly measures fat and moisture in samples quickly and accurately.

What Is NMR and How Does It Work?

NMR Technology

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is the same technique as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which has been widely used in the medical profession for years to accurately image the human body. In addition, many industries quantify oils, fats and/or moisture with NMR.

Traditionally, NMR has not been used for wet samples because water protons interfere with the measurement of fat protons. By combining the microwave drying capability of the SMART Turbo System with NMR, the technology can now be used to accurately measure fat content in almost any type of food product. A liquid or solid sample is dried to dissipate any hydrogen bound in the sample as water. Then, the NMR sends a pulse of radio-frequency energy through the sample, which causes the remaining hydrogen to generate a signal. That signal can then be analyzed to determine the amount of fat protons present in the sample. Because fat protons decay more slowly than the other constituents in food (e.g. protein, carbohydrates), they can easily be directly measured. In addition, NMR measures fat protons throughout the entire sample and is not affected by surface characteristics (color, ice crystals, sample changes, etc.) which create problems for some techniques.

The word "nuclear" in the name of the technique refers to the instrument's ability to analyze the nuclei of the sample. NMR technology does not generate or use ionizing radiation.