There is a need for accurate methods to quantify meat species in meat products to check QUID (quantitive ingredient delarations). Chinese researchers have evaluated a real-time PCR method based on species-specific primers and probes from the mitochondrial cytb (cytochrome b) gene fragment for the identification and quantification of beef ingredient in commercial meat products. The method was developed and calibrated using three mixed matrices (pork, donkey and sheep with known proportions of beef, respectively). Results showed that the primers and probes were highly specific for beef in meat products, and the absolute detection limit of the real-time PCR method was 0.025 ng DNA, and the relative detection limit was 0.002% (w/w) of beef. The assay was validated with 22 commercial beef products, of which 11 were salted, 10 were jerkies (dried) and one meatball, which were collected from local supermarkets. The results indicated the assay had a good stability in detecting and quantifying beef in the commercial samples.
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