New cereal based foods, particularly pasta, bread and biscuits, made with mixed flours containing ancient wheat species and other cereals, have become popular in recent years. This calls for analytical methods able to determine the authenticity of these products. Discrimination among closely related plant species, particularly congeneric ones like Triticum spp, remains a challenging task. Italian researchers have utilised and optimised a relatively new DNA fingerprinting method based on tubulin-based polymorphism (TBP) and a new assay, TBP light, for the authentication of different wheat and farro species and other cereals, and tested these on a set of commercial foods. The assay has a sensitivity of 0.5–1% w/w in binary mixtures of durum wheat in einkorn or emmer flour and was able to authenticate the composition of test food sample and to detect possible adulteration.
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