Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


The present methods used for determination of fat and protein contents of meat samples are complicated, elaborate, expensive and time-consuming. A large number of these analyses must be made daily in the meat packing industry. A procedure which would decrease the time and expense of these fat and protein determinations and yet maintain the accuracy of the present “official” methods of analysis would be of immeasurable value to the industry. The need for a simple, rapid, practical and accurate method of analysis has long been recognized. The manufacturers of sausage and other processed meat items commonly establish and within practical limits attempt to maintain consistent standards of quality foe every item regularly produced. Various governmental regulations, federal, state and local, have been established which place restrictions on the percentages of fat and moisture contained in various meat products. To control the composition of a meat product, it is obvious that the composition of the raw ingredients going into that product must be known with reasonable accuracy and early enough in production to permit adjustments to be made, when necessary, to correct those batches that vary beyond the permissible range. The availability of suitable analytical methods would make it possible to secure the necessary data in ample time to permit this type of active quality control. Active quality control measures are designed to provide clear control over costs and processing results as well as limiting the opportunity for variations. This is especially important since any noteworthy deviations in day-to-day product uniformity will cause adverse consumer reactions. Quite often substantial formula changes are necessitated by fluctuations in supply prices of sausage meat material. In these cases, as in new formulations, the manufacturer encounters marked differences in the composition of alternative materials and care must be taken in selection of ingredients to insure a satisfactory total composition of the meat product. The meat packing industry often operates on an extremely small and sometimes negative margin of profit. Many of the smaller industries cannot afford expensive laboratory equipment and trained technical personnel required for the present methods of analyses. Some of the recently developed “rapid” methods of analyses still require too much time to be fully effective, lack accuracy, require the use of expensive materials and the services of a chemist. The need for improved methods of analyses led to the study of the use of specific gravity as a means of determining the percentages if moisture, fat and protein in meat. The procedure described in this thesis is simple, rapid, accurate, and requires a minimum amount of equipment and training for personnel using it.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef -- Quality
Beef -- Research
Specific gravity


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University