Evaluation of fat grains in gothaj sausage using image analysis
Keywords:fat grain, Gothaj sausage, image analysis,
Fat is an irreplacable ingredient in the production of sausages and it determines the appearance of the resulting cut to a significant extent. When shopping, consumers choose a traditional product mostly according to its appearance, based onwhat they are used to. Chemical analysis is capable to determine the total fat content in the product, but it cannot accurately describe the shape and size of fat grains which the consumer observes when looking at the product. The size of fat grains considered acceptable by consumers can be determined using sensory analysis or image analysis. In recent years, image analysis has become widely used when examining meat and meat products. Compared to the human eye, image analysis using a computer system is highly effective, since a correctly adjusted computer program is able to evaluate results with lower error rate. The most commonly monitored parameter in meat products is the aforementioned fat. The fat is located in the cut surface of the product in the form of dispersed particles which can be fairly reliably identified based on color differences in the individual parts of the product matrix. The size of the fat grains depends on the input raw material used as well as on the production technology. The present article describes the application of image analysis when evaluating fat grains in the appearance of cut of the Gothaj sausage whose sensory requirements are set by Czech legislation, namely by Decree No. 326/2001 Coll., as amended. The paper evaluates the size of fat mosaic grains in Gothaj sausages from different manufacturers. Fat grains were divided into ten size classes according to various size limits; specifically, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 5.0, 8.0 and over 8 mm. The upper limit of up to 8 mm in diameter was chosen based on the limit for the size of individual fat grains set by the legislation. This upper limit was not exceeded by any of the products. On the other side the mosaic had the hightest representation of 0.25 mm fat grains.
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