Assurance of food quality and allied farming systems is increasingly sought by consumers and food processors. Yet, there are no validated analytical approaches for food-based verification of farming systems. Rapid evaporative ionisation mass spectrometry (REIMS) is an emerging analytical tool that can provide sufficient details to meet this need. M. Longissimus lumborum of 10 groups of lambs (n = 140) from 3 farms, varying by breed, sex, and forage type, were measured using REIMS fingerprinting. Modelling of features detected by REIMS could discriminate for most comparisons of sex (including castration status), breed, and diet. Tentative identification suggested that lipids, hormone-related compounds, amino acids and dipeptides were the main discriminatory features. Several REIMS features were correlated with pH and shear force in Merino lambs. REIMS was able to detect features related to breed, sex and feed in lamb meat, suggesting that these characteristics can be independently measured using rapid metabolic fingerprinting.
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