U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Date of this Version


Document Type



Umile Gianfranco Spizzirri and Giuseppe Cirillo (eds.) Food Safety: Innovative Analytical Tools for Safety Assessment, (33–64).


U.S. government work.


Thee analysis of food lipids presents significant challenges due to the wide variety of sample matrices, large range of total fat contents, and complex compositions of fatty acids. This is chapter reviews conventional analytical techniques for the quantification of total fat and fatty acids in foods and food ingredients, including the gravimetric determination of total fat, the calculation of fat and fatty acids using gas chromatography (GC), and the analysis of proximates content (i.e., fat, protein, carbohydrate, moisture, and ash) by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Current official methods of analysis are evaluated and the use of certified reference materials and spike-recovery experiments for verifying method performance is discussed. Recent advances in automated and semi-automated sample preparation systems and rapid and portable spectroscopic devices are highlighted for their potential to significantly improve the speed by which accurate determinations of total fat and fatty acids may be achieved.