Raman and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy have been evaluated for determining fatty acid composition and contents of main constituents in a complex food model system. A model system consisting of 70 different mixtures of protein, water, and oil blends was developed in order to create a rough chemical imitation of typical fish and meat samples, showing variation both in fatty acid composition and in contents of main constituents. The model samples as well as the pure oil mixtures were measured using Raman and NIR techniques. Partial least squares regression was utilized for prediction, and fatty acid features were expressed in terms of the iodine value and as contents of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Raman spectroscopy provided the best results for predicting iodine values of the model samples, giving validated estimation errors accounting for 2.8% of the total iodine value range. Both techniques provided good results for predicting the content of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the model samples, yielding validated estimation errors in the range of 2.4–6.1% of the total range of fatty acid content. Prediction results for determining fatty acid features of the pure oil mixtures were similar for the two techniques. NIR was clearly the best technique for modeling content of main constituents in the model samples.

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