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Home » Archive » 2019

TDK conference 2019

DNA-based genuineness testing and traceability of pork-based products for purposes of food safety
Pintér Zita - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department Animal Breeding, Nutrition and Laboratory Animal Science
Supervisor: Dr. Petra Zenke

Abstract:

Risk factors for food safety (e.g. contamination, counterfeiting) can present everywhere in the world and their investigation and traceability are often challenging. Species composition that differ from what is noted on the labelling can be problematic from a cultural and religious standpoints and pose a huge risk in Hungary due to the appearance and spread of the African swine fever, too. Determining the animal origin and thus the precise content of processed meat products is not always possible using the conventional techniques, since the act of processing (such as the physical and/or chemical treatment) can greatly damages the genetic material of the product. The developed method from our previous study, specifically the examination of the DNA control region (D-loop) with the use of short overlapping sequences enables the analysis of such damaged meat-based food samples. By studying the D-loop section through these sequence variances, not only the species origin of the product becomes identifiable (DNA barcoding) but the maternal line and geographical origin (traceability) as well, if supported by a proper and extended database.

In this study, we have expanded our previously setup genetic database to include 53 wild boar specimens from different Hungarian counties. By studying a longer segment with 1708 base pairs of the mtDNA, we managed to analyse the entire control region (1267 bp) and to identify a microsatellite region with decameric structure. With the investigation of point mutations in this longer DNA region, new haplotypes were detected. In the second phase of our study, we extracted DNA from seven different pork-based food samples (ham, sausage- and salami-types) and then proceeded to amplify the D-loop region by PCR. In cases where we could not successfully amplify the entire control region, we repeated the process using five short, overlapping prime pairs, developed for degraded genetic material.

Utilising the wild boars’ genetic variance based on an extended database connected with an improved genetic method, greater food safety can be provided to consumers and producers alike. Additionally, a sensitive genetic method to identify the species composition and the geographical origin of the meat product can not only ensure better food safety but can also be used in the investigation of numerous cases connected to poaching, as well.



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