MINERAL COMPOSITION OF TRADITIONAL SHEEP MEAT PRODUCTS IN DEPENDENCE ON THE THERMAL TREATMENT
Sheep meat products are traditionally present in the diet of the population in the Balkan countries. It presentsan important source of protein, fat, energy and a large number of well-absorbable mineral substances (iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium). Loss of the mineral matter is possible during the heat treatment of meat, which is a key stage in the process of making traditional sheep meat products. The loss depends on the applied thermal treatment. Manufacturers try to adapt the traditional technology of making sheep meat products to modern industrial conditions and to ensure production throughout the whole year. The aim of this study was a comparative analysis of sheep meat mineral composition produced in modern industrial conditions and ones produced by traditional technology, with the focus being given to the conditions of heat treatment and meat drying. Four experimental groups of boiled sheep meat samples with temperature variations 55 - 75 0C, boiling time 15 - 30 minutes and relative humidity 74 - 86%, and four groups of dried sheep meat with temperature variations 14 - 18 0C, drying time 24 h and relative humidity 85 - 88% were included in this study. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) with a microwave-assisted digestion treatment was used for determination of mineral matter in all meat samples. The results show increased value of all elements in the boiled sheep meat in relation to their content in dried products. Also, the content of mineral substances in samples of dried and boiled sheep meat was increased in relation to fresh samples, depending on the applied parameters. Main component analysis showed that all properties observed were present with high value in one of the first five major components. The most important properties in the first major component, which carry 88.47% of the total variability of the experiment, are Na, K, Mg, Cd, Pb and Se. Mineral matter content was higher in samples of boiled sheep meat than in dried ones. The reduction of smoking time and temperature enhancement had the greatest influence on the increasement of the mineral matter content in boiled and dried sheep meat samples.
Sheep meat, Heat treatment, Mineral matter