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17th May 2016  Content supplied by: Clear Labs

NGS Shows Meat DNA in Veggie Burgers

Clear Labs, the world’s first food-analytics platform for retailers and manufacturers, have released an extensive molecular analysis of burger products. The publicly available report identifies insights and trends about food safety and quality and provides suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers with a statistically significant snapshot of the burger industry.

Clear Labs analyzed 258 anonymized samples of ground meat, frozen patties, fast-food burger products, and veggie-burger products from 79 brands and 22 retailers. Using next-generation genomic sequencing (NGS) and other third-party tests, the company screens for authenticity, major, medium, and minor substitution, contamination, gluten, toxigenic fungi and toxic plants, other allergens, and missing ingredients. Clear Labs also examines products for nutrition-content accuracy, such as calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. All tests are run through a secondary analysis pipeline and scrubbed for statistical accuracy and error.

"In conducting our food-category analyses and synthesizing our findings, we’re providing the food industry with actionable insights while building out our relational database, the industry’s largest collection of reference molecular signatures,” said Sasan Amini, Clear Labs CEO and co-founder. “Our food industry customers access our database through a cloud-based analytics platform to monitor foods flowing through their supply chains at a molecular level, surface trends, benchmark their products against others in the same category, and build airtight food-safety programs.”

No outside partners, companies, customers, or other entities had any influence on or contribution to Clear Labs’ research and testing. In conducting their molecular analysis for burger products Clear Labs found:

13.6% of all products tested were problematic 4.3% of the samples contained traces of pathogenic DNA 3 samples tested positive for rat DNA 1 sample tested positive for human DNA 23.6% of the vegetarian products tested were problematic 2 vegetable burger products contained traces of beef DNA 1 black bean burger contained no black beans

“Rather than having to run different tests to identify specific ingredients, pathogens, or contaminants, we can look blindly into samples, at scale, and monitor food-supply chains like never before,” said Mahni Ghorashi, co-founder of Clear Labs. “By leveraging today’s most powerful and precise food-testing technologies, Clear Labs’ customers are leading the food industry away from a reactive model, which relies on food testing to identify the source of outbreaks, towards a proactive model of prevention.”

Clear Labs’ laboratories are accredited by A2LA for technical competence in the field of biological testing, in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards. Clear Labs has also met additional program requirements in the Biological field, including AOAC 2005 accreditation.



Date Published: 17th May 2016

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