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25th February 2013  Content supplied by: 

Speciation Service to Assure Product Authenticity

Romer Labs DNA testingOver the last weeks, news headlines have been dominated by the European-wide scandal on undeclared horse meat in food. Tighter control measures are now being discussed in numerous countries and at EU level in order to prevent future adulteration. Cutting-edge polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodology can be used to detect very low levels of horse DNA in food. In several European countries, food safety authorities and supermarket chains have initiated recalls on food products, predominantly those containing processed beef, such as burgers, lasagna, bolognese, tortellini and ravioli.

It has become evident that the origin of the contaminated meat in these products is not always clear due to the complexity of the food industry´s supply chain, which reaches across the 27 member EU bloc. The discovery of horse meat in beef products is thought to affect up to 16 European countries.

Tonio Borg, The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, has urged all EU members to carry out DNA tests on processed beef for traces of horsemeat within three months of 1st March, an estimated 6.500 tests.

In addition to horse meat contamination, it emerged that a number of products have been found to be contaminated with pork, creating considerable issues for those who have a prohibitive diet and raising further concerns about meat labeling and authenticity.

The current method of choice for detection of DNA from a specific species, utilizes PCR methodology. Romer Labs offers DNA testing in its laboratories located in the UK and Austria. The labs are equipped with the latest instrumentation and technology and services include meat speciation, GMO analysis, food allergen detection and chemical analysis of contaminants such as mycotoxins and veterinary drug residues.

Romer Labs is a global manufacturer and service provider of food safety diagnostics and operates ISO17025 accredited laboratories in Europe, USA and Singapore.

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Date Published: 25th February 2013

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