meat species determination (2)

Given the rise in international and e-commerce trade, and the lack of statistics about how much fraud takes place in this type of trade, the objective of this study by Italian researchers was to evaluate the authenticity of some Italian PDO cheese and meat products purchased on the internet. Real-Time PCR analysis revealed that 20/28 (71.4%) dairy PDO products and 24/52 (46.1%) PDO meat product samples involved species substitutions differing from their PDO specification. The study highlights the problems and risks faced by e-commerce consumers, and shows that better assurance is required to protect consumers purchasing food on the internet.

 Read the abstract here

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The aim of this project was to evaluate the applicability of selected modern molecular biology methods to reliably detect and quantify meat species around the 1% (w/w) level for enforcement action with a focus on processed meat products. Three techniques were evaluated, which had quantitative potential for trace ingredient detection: real-time PCR (qPCR), droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), and a label-free mass-spectrometry (MS) approach.

Results of the research indicated that both qPCR and ddPCR demonstrated good qualitative and quantitative analytical performance at the 1% (w/w) adulteration level for enforcement action (with an associated 3-27% coefficient of variation). Across all adulterant levels investigated, ddPCR generally showed tighter precision estimates, particularly at the 0.1% (w/w) levels and with the highly processed canned meat sample. The label-free MS technique demonstrated clear qualitative capability, but did not demonstrate comparable accuracy for quantitative determinations.  

  Read the full FA0157 report.

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