Volume 89 Issue 47 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 21, 2011

Proteomics Technique Could Predict Foie Gras Quality

Controlling duration of duck overfeeding could lead to better foie gras quality overall
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Biological SCENE
Keywords: Proteomics, food science, foie gras, mass spectrometry
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MS analysis suggests careful timing of duck overfeeding may reduce fat losses in cooked foie gras.
Credit: Shutterstock
Cooked foie gras over cucumber with mustard sauce. Mass spec analysis suggests careful timing of overfeeding may reduce fat losses in cooked foie gras.
 
MS analysis suggests careful timing of duck overfeeding may reduce fat losses in cooked foie gras.
Credit: Shutterstock

Preparing the duck liver delicacy foie gras may soon become a more predictable experience, if a new hypothesis from French scientists turns out to be correct. The researchers found metabolic signatures that they say predict whether fat loss during cooking of a given liver will be low, which is a mark of good quality, or high (J. Agric. Food Chem., DOI: 10.1021/jf203058x). They suggest that lowering the duration of duck overfeeding required to make foie gras may keep fat loss in check. France alone produces over 20,000 metric tons of foie gras annually, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but fat loss variability during cooking remains an issue. Most biochemical studies of foie gras quality focus on lipids, but Caroline Molette of the Graduate School of Life Sciences of Toulouse (ENSAT) and colleagues instead examined the role of metabolic enzymes. With mass spectrometry, they analyzed proteins extracted from duck livers. Livers with low fat losses contained an abundance of enzymes involved in anabolic pathways, thought to be an early adaptation to overfeeding. In contrast, high-fat-loss livers had high levels of proteins involved in countering oxidative stress.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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