• An Overview on Cyclic Fatty Acids as Biomarkers of Quality and Authenticity in the Meat Sector

      Lolli, Veronica; Zanardi, Emanuela; Moloney, Aidan; Caligiani, Augusta (MDPI, 2020-11-27)
      A survey was conducted to determine the content of cyclopropane fatty acids (CPFAs) and ω-cyclohexyl fatty acids (CHFAs) by using gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) techniques in various meat samples from different species, including commercial samples and complex and thermally processed products (i.e., Bolognese sauce). The CPFAs concentration (as the sum of two isomers, namely dihydrosterculic acid and lactobacillic acid) in bovine meat fat (ranging between 70 and 465 mg/kg fat) was positively related to a silage-based diet, and therefore, they are potential biomarkers for monitoring the feeding system of cattle. CHFAs, such as 11-cyclohexylundecanoic and 13-cyclohexyltridecanoic acids, were only found in lipid profiles from ruminant species, and a linear trend was observed in their content, together with iso-branched fatty acids (iso-BCFAs) deriving from ruminal fermentation, as a function of bovine meat percentage in both raw and cooked minced meat. Thus, CHFAs are potential biomarkers for the assurance of the meat species and, combined with iso-BCFAs, of the beef/pork ratio even in complex meat matrices. The proposed approaches are valuable novel tools for meat authentication, which is pivotal in the management of meat quality, safety, and traceability.