The morphological transformation of beef tissues after various processing treatments facilitates the addition of cheap offal products. Undetectable to the naked eye, analytical techniques are required to identify such scenarios within minced and processed products. DNA methodologies are ill-equipped to detect adulteration of offal cuts from the same species and vibrational spectroscopic studies, although rapid and non-destructive, have proved inconclusive as to whether the specific adulterant can be identified. For the first time we present a mass spectrometric approach employing an ambient ionisation process to eliminate sample preparation and provide near-instantaneous results. Rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS) was used to assess its capabilities of detecting minced beef adulteration with beef brain, heart, kidney, large intestine and liver tissues and chemometric analysis enabled unique or significant markers to be identified. The adulteration levels detected with the REIMS technology when analysing raw adulterated beef burgers were; brain (5%); heart (1–10%); kidney (1–5%); large intestine (1–10%) and liver (5–10%). For boiled adulterated samples; brain (5–10%); heart (1–10%); kidney (1–5%); large intestine (1–10%) and liver (5–10%). REIMS allows rapid and specific identification of offal cuts within adulterated beef burgers and could provide a paradigm shift across many authenticity applications.
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