DNA Tests Grant Ingredient Authenticity

US - New DNA testing methods ensure that manufacturers can identify raw ingredients correctly, saving them both time and money, the developer claims.
calendar icon 27 August 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
UK research group Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) has developed DNA extraction and detection methods, in conjunction with an existing DNA amplification technique, for assessing the authenticity of ingredients and products such as fish, meat, gum additives, olive oil and nuts.

Strict EU and UK regulations mean that manufacturers must know what is in their products and label them correctly, as contamination with other ingredients can lead to expensive recalls, fines and even law suits.

"DNA testing helps manufacturers to ensure the integrity of a product", Steve Garrett, a CCFRA biochemist, told FoodProductionDaily.com. "For example, a non-genetically modified soya ingredient must be free from GM soya or the product must carry a label saying the GM soya is present."

"Similarly, certain fish species can be in short supply and substitutions can occur. Lots of UK fish products are prepared from imported fish blocks containing fillets or pieces, and manufactures need to ensure correct fish ingredients are being used," he added.

CCFRA has developed a "hands-free" DNA testing method. For example, with molecular fish identification, a sample tissue is put into a cartridge, which fits into a machine that carries out DNA extraction in 30 minutes.

The profile of this DNA is then compared to a database containing hundreds of other profiles, to confirm exactly what the food ingredient of product is.

Source: foodnavigator.com
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