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Ambient mass spectrometry is an analytical approach that enables ionization of molecules under open-air conditions with no sample preparation and very fast sampling times. Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) is a relatively new type of ambient mass spectrometry that has demonstrated applications in both human health and food science. Here, we present an evaluation of REIMS as a tool to generate molecular scale information as an objective measure for the assessment of beef quality attributes. Eight different machine learning algorithms were compared to generate predictive models using REIMS data to classify beef quality attributes based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) quality grade, production background, breed type and muscle tenderness. The results revealed that the optimal machine learning algorithm, as assessed by predictive accuracy, was different depending on the classification problem, suggesting that a “one size fits all” approach to developing predictive models from REIMS data is not appropriate. The highest performing models for each classification achieved prediction accuracies between 81.5–99%, indicating the potential of the approach to complement current methods for classifying quality attributes in beef.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.