meat species determination (4)

3817380870?profile=RESIZE_710xIn order to verify labelling compliance and evaluate the existence of fraudulent practices, 250 sausage samples were purchased from local markets in Sichuan Province and analysed for the presence of DNA from chicken, pork, beef, duck and genetically modified soybean using real-time and end-point PCR methods. In total, 74.4% (186) of the samples were properly labelled, while the other 25.6% (64) were mislabelled and potentially adulterated samples.The most common mislabelling was the undeclared addition of, or contamination with, duck meat, which is cheaper than pork or chicken.  

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Roumanian researchers have optimised and validated a real-time, sensitive, and accurate PCR method for the detection and quantification of meat species in selected processed meat products: chicken sausages, beef bologna, and pork bologna. A common detection limit of 8 DNA copies was established for each sample, corresponding to 0.1% w/w for beef and pork and 0.2% w/w for chicken. For the limit of quantification, dilutions of 20 copies of DNA for the bovine and pig species and 50 copies of DNA for the chicken species were performed. Specificity and selectivity tests in six replicates each showed no extraneous meat species, in line with the label information. Repeatability was assessed in six replicates, both quantitatively and qualitatively, by the same analyst, on the same day, and with the same equipment. The reproducibility results obtained by two analysts, on different days, for each sample were very similar. 

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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.

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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.  

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