Determination of added fat in meat paste using microwave and millimetre wave techniques

Sing K. Ng, Paul Ainsworth, Andrew Plunkett, Arthur D. Haigh, Andrew A P Gibson, Graham Parkinson, George Jacobs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    By evaluating the sensitivity of measurement parameters such as dielectric constant and microwave loss to fat content, several microwave and millimetre methods were compared to identify optimal frequency measurement bands. The results showed that the optimum frequency range lay between 8 and 20 GHz where these parameters vary linearly, by up to a factor of 8, as fat is increased to 50% volume. A narrowband waveguide sensor cell was designed and constructed for this optimum range. The imaginary part (ε′′) of the complex permittivity demonstrated a better measurements resolution for determining fat content than the real part (ε′). The waveguide method has excellent repeatability as indicated by low relative standard deviation (RSD <4.88%). Temperature and sample density had minimal impact on the accuracy, repeatability and robustness of the final measurement system. A method of mixtures model for complex permittivity was shown to be a useful predictor of fat content. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)748-756
    Number of pages8
    JournalMeat Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


    • Coaxial probe
    • Dielectric characterization
    • Fat content
    • Meat
    • Permittivity measurement
    • Transmission line


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