The Extraction of Fat from Low, Middle, and High-Fat Foods

The Extraction of Fat from Low, Middle, and High-Fat Foods

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Fat extractions are an important aspect of food testing and safety. They are critical to the accurate calculation of nutrition facts and quality assurance. Traditionally, fat extractions are done using acid prehydrolysis and the Soxhlet method; which is laborious, manual, and time consuming. Thus, faster and automated methods are needed. The EDGE®, an automated extraction system, was used to extract the fat from different food samples, using an acid prehydrolysis protocol before extraction. The direct extraction of each food was also completed. Foods considered low, medium, and high-fat were all extracted with excellent recoveries and RSDs. The EDGE is an ideal choice for food laboratories that need to obtain intact fat extracts and wish to incorporate automation into their workflow.




Fat extractions are required by food manufacturers as a part of food formulation. Manufacturers also test the fat extracts from food to ensure the freshness and quality of their products. As consumers grow more educated in the quality and content of the foods they consume, the accurate reporting of nutrition facts, particularly fat, is even more critical. In the manufacturing process, the fastest and most accurate testing methods are always desired. Often, food samples must be prehydrolyzed using acid in order to free bound fat for extraction. Subsequently, most fat extracts are obtained from prehydrolyzed samples using the Soxhlet method, which is tedious, manual, time consuming, and requires several hundred milliliters of solvent.

The EDGE is an automated extraction system that allows for the intact extraction of fat. The EDGE utilizes Q-Cup® technology to extract, filter, and cool the fat extracts from various food samples. In this application note, several foods with different amounts of fat, varying from low-fat to high-fat, were extracted using the EDGE with and without prehydrolysis. The traditional Soxhlet extraction was also done on these matrices, and the results were compared. The results from the EDGE were comparable with excellent RSD values. Thus, the EDGE is an ideal choice for a food laboratory seeking to extract fat from their food samples as an intact extract.


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