Nondestructive measurement of compositions, physical properties, and positions of components in individual organisms

June 26, 2020

Expected to be applied to evaluate food tasting factors with spatial information

RIKEN CSRS has developed a three dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) pulse sequence and a visualization processor that can be used for nondestructive measurement of compositions, physical properties, and positions of components in individual organisms.

The research team developed a new approach which enables nondestructive measurement of the spatial information in the depth direction of fleshy portions, organs, and others of individual organisms obtained by the magnetic resonance image (MRI) method; and the information on physical properties and compositions, such as relaxation time and diffusion coefficient obtained by the NMR method. This approach was applied to the freshwater shrimp Palaemon paucidens, commonly known as kawaebi and is popular deep-fried food. Compositional distribution analysis of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, and other components, as well as the profiling of physical properties concerning hardness and softness were conducted in an anteroposterior direction from head to tail. It was found that the head portion of the shrimp contained a large amount of lipid, which showed slow diffusion rate. There was not much lipid in the tail portion, but it diffused relatively fast along with amino acids and amines. The head portion was hard and the tail portion was soft.

In the future, this approach may be applied to measure the change of state when food ingredients are heated, cooled and hardened within the NMR tube, and also applied to evaluate food tasting factors with spatial information. It is anticipated that the results of this research can be applied not only to living organisms, but also to food, animal feed, chemical processes and other subjects to obtain physical properties and positional information and to evaluate material composition.

 

Original article
Communications Chemistry doi:10.1038/s42004-020-0330-1
K. Ito, Y. Tsuboi, J. Kikuchi,
"Spatial molecular-dynamically ordered NMR spectroscopy of intact bodies and heterogeneous systems".

Contact
Jun Kikuchi
Team Leader
Environmental Metabolic Analysis Research Team