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Multi-species Test for Meat Adulteration Launched

19 January 2015

UK - A new test has been developed that allows for the detection of unknown and unsuspected cases of adulteration or mislabelling of meat products.

A single test can now be used to immediately detect the presence of any meat adulterant or contaminant that could be present.

Previous methods meant that a series of tests had to be run where the possible causes of adulteration must be named in advance and individually tested for.

Existing methods using real time Polymerised Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques can result in ‘false positives’ caused by the presence of psuedogenes – these are created when DNA sequences are multiplied during the testing process.

The food research organisation, by Leatherhead Food Research said that frustrated with these inadequacies, it has now developed the new technique to resolve these problems.

Using samples of beef, spiked with horse, pork, chicken, turkey and duck, Leatherhead’s test shows a detection limit of one per cent for each DNA target.

The test can be used for cooked and raw meats and for processed meat-based products.

“We believe that the test will allow for faster and more accurate analysis of the species of meat used in prepared foods and can support the drive to build greater consumer trust,” said creator of the method, Dr Angus Knight, Research and Development Manager.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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