Gelatin in boiled ham?

Our investigations have shown at various locations “cooked ham” often contains added protein hydrolyzate, which is bound water and the engraving consistency capable of maintaining. The addition of protein hydrolyzate is to be declared and therefore incorporated in the list of ingredients of a product. Below it is shown that our patent EP 0823973 B1 also suitable for the detection of protein additives in “cooked ham”. The process, done with the amino acid analyzer Aracus is ideal for use in food control.

For comparison we tested 5 samples. After protein precipitation by our special precipitation the digestion of non-proteinogenic nitrogen (NPN) occurs. The disruption is carried out by means of microwaves in a microwave synthesizer Discover® of CEM for a period of 15 minutes. Subsequently, the amino acids of the sample with our amino acid analyzer ARACUS be qualitatively and quantitatively determined. When applied post-column reaction by ninhydrin proline and hydroxyproline are directly influenced in a run which is an advantage over some other HPLC methods. Also critical is compared to MS methods the mass equality of leucine, isoleucine and hydroxyproline, as these substances are chromatographically separated and are identified by their retention times.

As the table shows, a significant difference in the different amino acids of the sample is noted. Clearly visible is the change in the composition of the NPN by the increasing addition of hydrolyzed protein. In sample 1, the amino acid levels are elevated, as compared to the results from the samples 2, 3, 4 and 5. The manufacturer of the cooking ham (sample 1) added during the preparation of gelatin in the cooked ham added. As an indicator of the addition of gelatin amino acids hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine can thereby be used. The concentration of hydroxyproline is very low in pure boiled ham and hydroxylysine is not in pure boiled ham. increase with the addition of gelatin, which thus serve concentrations of these two amino acids significantly as a reliable marker for the identification of added gelatine in cooked ham in our examples.

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Analysis of the amino acid composition of cell culture media
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