The Pulsar is a portable detector that uses nuclear magnetic resonance technology to differentiate between horse meat and beef. The technology was developed in response to a scandal last year in Britain where horse meat was being passed off in beef and included in frozen beef burgers and lasagnas.
The brainchild of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich in partnership with Oxford Instruments, the portable detector is inexpensive, simple to use and can differentiate between horse meat and beef in only 10 minutes.
To operate the machine, a sample of fresh or thawed meat is put through a chloroform-based extraction technique. It is then inserted into the Pulsar portable detector, where magnetic resonance is used to obtain a signature of the meat's fats, before being recorded and analyzed by special software.
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