A new approach, based on the usage of Raman spectroscopy in combination with chemometrics, was developed for the rapid determination of beef adulteration with horsemeat. The data mining process of collected Raman spectra was performed with principal component analysis (PCA). Pure fat samples, extracted from forty-nine meat beef and horsemeat samples, were analysed using the Raman spectroscopy. All meat samples were classified successfully according to their origins. The presence of different concentrations (25%, 50%, 75%, w/w) of horsemeat in beef was also differentiated using the developed model system. This study offers a rapid assay for determination of meat adulteration by discriminating beef and horsemeat with high accuracy, a short analysis time (30 s) and no requirement for time-consuming sample preparation procedures. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.