meat species identification (9)

Researchers have a developed a multiplex PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay to identify beef, pork, horse and poultry (chicken, turkey) and determine these species quantitatively in meat products. The qualitative assay uses a mitochondrial cytochrome b gene marker. The quantitative assay uses singlecopy markers from chromosomal genes (cyclic-GMP-phosphodiesterase gene for cattle, beta-actin gene for pig, interleukin-2 gene for chicken), and the normaliser is from the myostatin gene for mammals and poultry. The reliability of both methods was confirmed by analysing of mixed samples prepared with or without heat treatment. The assay was tested with 14 meat products from the Czech retail market with two having undeclared species and another 4 products giving an incorrect quantitative declaration. 

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Conventional nucleic acid amplification methods are reliable, but the requirement of complex equipment, skilled technicians and long operation time limit their on-site use. Here, a simple denaturation bubble-mediated strand exchange amplification method (SEA) requiring only a pair of primers and one polymerase was first reported for identifying adulteration of pork source by targeting the species-specific mitochondrial DNA sequence. The SEA method could detect 1% pork total DNA by both colorimetric and fluorescence determination. The whole detection process could be finished within 1 hour by coupling with fast tissue DNA extraction method, only requiring a simple heating block, and hence making it suitable for on-site meat species identification. 

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In this study, NGS (next generation sequencing) using the Ion Torrent semiconductor platform was applied to identify meat species in several highly processed and complex meat products and meat derived broths (a döner kebab, a beef/pork paté, a meat based filling of tortellini, one instant granular preparation of broth stock made from meat, and two ready-to-use meat broths from different producers). Sequence analysis of reads from 6 libraries detected expected and unexpected meat species in the products. A measure of poor hygienic practice during production of the analysed products could be inferred using the number of human reads. In conclusion, NGS data is useful for authentication of highly processed products.

Read the abstract at: NGS of meat products

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New Book on Proteomics in Food Science Published.

Academic Press has published a  book - Proteomics in Food Science: From Farm to Fork, which is  a useful reference, providing concepts and practical applications of proteomics for in various disciplines of food science. The book covers a range of methods for elucidating the identity or composition of specific proteins in foods or cells related to food science, from spoilage organisms, to edible components. Of interest to food authenticity, there are chapters on soya proteomics, meat species identification, and fish and other seafood identification.

Read the abstract at: food proteomics or a preview at: proteomics in food science


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This study evaluated the application of relative quantification of unique heat-stable species specific peptides in highly processed meat proteins. Using nano-LC-QTOF-MS/MS, 20 new, heat-stable peptide markers unique to chicken, duck and goose were identified. The method enabled detection of 1% (w/w) of chicken and 1% (w/w) pork in a mixture of the meat of three species, as well as 0.8% (w/w) beef proteins in commercial poultry frankfurters. This method includes a correction factor for each protein, based on the peptide MS detection probabilities, which are influenced by the physicochemical properties of the peptide. Considerable differences in abundance of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins were observed between samples and illegal proportions of ingredients were discovered.

Read the abstract at: Meat species quantification using peptide markers

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In this study, rapid identification of meat species was achieved using a portable real-time PCR system, following a very simple DNA extraction method. Applying these techniques, beef, pork, chicken, rabbit, horse, and mutton were correctly identified in processed foods in 20 min. This approach is expected to significantly contribute to factory quality control and fraud mitigation.

Read the abstract at: Portable RT-PCR meat species identification

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This study compared the accuracy of an OFFGEL electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic approach with a DNA-based method for meat species identification from raw and cooked mince mixes containing beef, water buffalo and sheepmeat. Species-specific peptides derived from myosin light chain-1 and 2 were identified for authenticating buffalo meat spiked at a minimum 0.5% level in sheepmeat with high confidence. In the DNA-based method, PCR amplification of mitochondrial D loop gene using species specific primers found 226 bp and 126 bp product amplicons for buffalo and beef, respectively. The method was efficient in detecting a minimum of 0.5% and 1.0% when buffalo meat was spiked with beef in raw and cooked meat mixes.

Read the abstract at: Proteomic method comparison with DNA method

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The aim of this study was to develop an ultra-fast method for meat identification using convection Palm PCR, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene. Amplicon size was designed to be different for beef, lamb, and pork. When these primer sets were used, each species-specific set detected the target meat species in singleplex and multiplex modes in a 24 min PCR run. The convection PCR method could detect as low as 1% of meat adulteration. The method work with both raw and processed meat. The approach can be used in the laboratory, and has potential for rapid on-site application. 

Read the abstract at: Rapid PCR meat species identification

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This DNA macro-array allows the simultaneous identification of 32 meat species. Up to 8 samples can be analysed per chip support. The method showed a sensitivity of 1% in adulterated spiked meat samples. Meat mislabelling can be easily detected.

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