• How to Make the Best Beef Broth - Chromatography Checks the Flavour


How to Make the Best Beef Broth - Chromatography Checks the Flavour

Jul 29 2020

Tender stewed beef in a rich broth or gravy is a dish enjoyed by many people. Whether eaten on its own or baked in a pie, it is a food that brings comfort to people. But getting the dish just right depends on many different factors. How do you get the flavour profile just right? Well, researchers at the Beijing Technology and Business University in China have published research using chromatography to find out. In a paper titled, Optimization of beef broth processing technology and isolation and identification of flavor peptides by consecutive chromatography and LC‐QTOF‐MS/MS, in the journal Food Science and Nutrition, scientists report on the conditions they used to produce the perfect boof broth.

It is on the tip of your tongue – and the back and sides

Taste is one of the methods we use to sense flavour. Flavour could be described as the chemical profile of a food or drink that we sense through taste and smell. For many foods and drinks, our sense of smell is just as important as taste for enjoying food. Just think how bland food tastes when you are full of a cold and cannot breathe through your nose.

You might remember that at school your teacher told you about the areas of the tongue for tasting salty or sweet food. Well, it turns out that this is one of the long list of lies we are told at school. The entire tongue, our upper palate and the insides of our cheeks all have taste buds that can help us to sense what we are eating. Different areas are more or less sensitive to different tastes – and all taste buds can detect the basic tastes we learnt at school: salty, sour, sweet, bitter and umami -a relatively new descriptor in the West, but recognised in Asia for centuries.

Optimising the broth

To investigate what flavour peptides are present in the perfect beef broth, the team of researchers from China used the science of liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry and the sensory perception of a panel of taste experts. The use of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry is discussed in the article, Separation of the 4 Enantiomers of the Fungicide Spiroxamine by LC-MS/MS.

From the analysis carried out, the team identified the peptides associated with great tasting beef broth. The optimum conditions included 100g beef, 150g water, sugar, salt, and spices all cooked at a stewing temperature of 100°C for 3.5 hours. Now if you can only persuade Grandma to alter her recipe

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