Determining mandatory nutritional parameters for Iberian meat products using a new method based on near infra-red reflectance spectroscopy and data mining
The new regulation about mandatory labelling on nutrition requires the declaration of specific parameters: protein, lipid, salt and carbohydrate contents. This study reports a fast, accurate method to determine the values of these mandatory nutritional parameters based on near infra-red reflectance spectroscopy (NIRs) technology and data mining techniques, used in an automatic way. For that, two batches of different Iberian pork meat products (dry-cured ham, dry-cured loin, dry-cured shoulder, dry-fermented Salchichón sausage, and dry-fermented Chorizo sausage were used. One batch of each product was used to train the method and the remaining batch was used for validation. To develop the method, prediction equations were obtained from the NIRs, while nutritional data for the training batches were obtained by applying data mining techniques, and the prediction equations were evaluated against the NIRs data from the validation batch. The prediction equations achieved from very good to excellent degrees of relationship (R > 0.75) and accurate results (MAE < 1, RMSEC < 1, RMSEP < 1) from the training batch. These prediction equations were corroborated using the validation batch, which showed very good to excellent correlation coefficients (R > 0.75). This new method is rapid, as it takes around 10 minutes in comparison with traditional methods that take around 6 days.