Quantifying and predicting meat and meat products quality attributes using electromagnetic waves: an overview

Meat Sci. 2013 Dec;95(4):879-96. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.04.037. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


The meat industry needs reliable meat quality information throughout the production process in order to guarantee high-quality meat products for consumers. Besides laboratory researches, food scientists often try to adapt their tools to industrial conditions and easy handling devices useable on-line and in slaughterhouses already exist. This paper overviews the recently developed approaches and latest research efforts related to assessing the quality of different meat products by electromagnetic waves and examines the potential for their deployment. The main meat quality traits that can be assessed using electromagnetic waves are sensory characteristics, chemical composition, physicochemical properties, health-protecting properties, nutritional characteristics and safety. A wide range of techniques, from low frequency, high frequency impedance measurement, microwaves, NMR, IR and UV light, to X-ray interaction, involves a wide range of physical interactions between the electromagnetic wave and the sample. Some of these techniques are now in a period of transition between experimental and applied utilization and several sensors and instruments are reviewed.

Keywords: Fluorescence; Infrared; Meat quality; Microwave; NMR; X-ray.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electromagnetic Radiation*
  • Fats / analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Quality*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods
  • Meat Products / analysis*
  • Microwaves
  • Quality Control
  • Salts / analysis
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods
  • X-Rays


  • Fats
  • Salts