Reichert - Meissl Number determination

Reichert - Determination of Meissl Count
Reichert - Determination of Meissl Count

Despite all legal regulations, inspections and sanctions, counterfeiting in the food industry cannot be prevented. Unfortunately, these counterfeiting incidents, most of which are done for the sake of gaining unjust gain, can sometimes reach levels that threaten human health. An example of this is the butter counterfeiting. Other types of oils and substances are added to the content of butter, and people are deceived by reducing the cost in this way.

The Reichert - Meissl number is calculated to determine whether other ingredients are added to the butter. The Reichert - Meissl number is the amount in ml of 5 nitrogen sodium hydroxide solution required to neutralize the acidity in 0,1 grams of oil.

In the Reichert - Meissl number determination method, butter is first saponified, then low molecular fatty acids, which are the main characteristics of milk fats, are distilled by evaporating with water vapor and the remaining distillation product is taken into a collection container and titrated with an alkali solution.

According to the relevant legal regulations and published standards, butter must contain between 80 and 90 percent of its weight in milk fat and at most 16 percent in water. However, butter counterfeiters add other oils to butter instead of milk fat. While producing butter on farms, milk residues such as milk, yogurt or whey are used. However, cream is generally used as a raw material when producing butter in large enterprises. According to the standards, the fat ratio of the cream must be at most 35 percent. The acidity of the creams must be kept at a certain value, since the creams with acidity above a certain value cannot reach the temperature during the pasteurization process. This process is called neutralization.

In authorized laboratories, studies for the determination of Reichert - Meissl number in butter are carried out within the scope of chemical tests. These studies comply with the standards published in our country and abroad. The following standard is taken into account in the determination of the Reichert - Meissl number:

  • TS 1331 Butter