Many Europeans are fretting these days over what they eat, and whether horse meat might have adulterated their pork chops. Food fraud has been dominating headlines globally - calling for new policies in law enforcement and more robust methods for successful food identification and authentication. As companies and manufacturers resort to fraudulent practices to extract more cash from the gullible public, it is estimated that up to 7% of the consumer supply chain contains hidden ingredients (i.e. not disclosed on the label). And while all too often policymakers seem oblivious to the problem, the growing awareness of plain criminal activity in food supply has stimulated an increase in published research on animal DNA testing, either for the identification of species or for the genetic linkage of a sample to a particular organism.
The conventional methodologies employed for the determination of species origin in meat products have predominantly applied molecular methods of immunochemical, electrophoretic and chromatographic analysis of proteins. For those cases where reliance on morphological characteristics is impractical or impossible, scientists offer now novel techniques allowing the identification of species specific DNA sequences. Among these is a technique that relies on the much debated DNA barcoding - developed by researchers from the Government Laboratory in Hong Kong who have come up with a method that permits DNA detection of the fraudulent substitution of commercial deer products, regardless of their physical state, so that identification by morphology (form) is not required.
Deer meat has come a long way as an alternative to pork and beef. But it has continued to catch up with consumers steadily if slowly over the last decade, mainly due to its nutritive and therapeutic values but also versatile serving methods. And while venison is low in fat and high in protein, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids - add
|Contact: Maria Hrynkiewicz|