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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Seline Knüttel‐Gustavsen and Johein Harmeyer

The objective of this study is to examine the effects of pan‐frying, boiling and cooking in a microwave on the amount of L‐carnitine in meat and to look at its…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study is to examine the effects of pan‐frying, boiling and cooking in a microwave on the amount of L‐carnitine in meat and to look at its distribution in the surrounding fluid after food processing.

Design/methodology/approach

Total carnitine, free carnitine and acylcarnitines were determined in meat samples from beef, pork and poultry (including ostrich) and in a liver sample from beef. The measurements were carried out before and after the specimens were subjected to different heat treatments. A radio‐enzymatic assay was used for measurement of L‐carnitine. Results are expressed per 100 gram dry matter and per 100 gram wet weight.

Findings

Except for pan‐frying, virtually no losses of carnitine occurred during the different procedures of heat treatment. During boiling and microwaving, however, a considerable portion of the tissue carnitine escaped into the water fraction. With pan‐frying, carnitine losses from meat amounted to from 3 to 36 per cent. In all animal species, tissue losses of L‐carnitine increased with increase of boiling time. When expressed as a percentage of total carnitine, the proportion of carnitine present as esters differed somewhat between different heating procedures but showed no typical pattern.

Originality/value

The findings of this study show the important role that meat products play for providing an adequate amount of L‐carnitine in humans who are suffering from carnitine deficiency and an exogenous supplementation is needed.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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