Determination of the oxidation stability of fat-containing solid foodstuffs

Huvuddokument

The Rancimat method is a widely accepted method for the determination of the oxidation stability of natural fats and oils. Its main application is quality control in oil mills and the oil processing industry. At elevated temperatures and under the exposure of air, fatty acids are oxidized. The reaction products are absorbed in ultrapure water that is continually monitored for conductivity. After an induction period with slow reaction, the formation of volatile carboxylic acids is accelerated. At that time the conductivity begins to increase rapidly. Instead of investing weeks or months, the sample can be oxidized within a few hours.The method can also be used to determine the oxidation stability of solid foodstuffs that contain natural fats or oils. Frequently, a direct determination without extraction of the fat is possible, if the fat content exceeds a minimum level. In these cases, a simple and reliable assessment of the quality of the produced foodstuff is possible.A number of fat-containing solid foodstuffs such as almonds, peanuts, peanut-flavored puffs, potato chips, muffins, butter cookies, French fries, and instant noodles were successfully tested with the Rancimat method. The experiments revealed that the comminution of the sample is one of the most important steps. The grinding procedure of the tested samples was kept as simple as possible to avoid the use of expensive milling instrumentation.