Scallops are high value seafood products usually sold without their characteristic shells. Each species differs in its taste and value with the Pecten spp. scallops attracting higher prices in Europe. German researchers have developed a multiplex real-time PCR method to reliably identify the main commercial scallop species: Pecten spp. (usually King scallop P. maximus), Mizuhopecten yessoensis (Japanese scallop), and Placopecten magellanicus (Atlantic sea scallop). Primers and probes based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene amplifying fragments of 138–198 bp were used, and non-targeted species gave either no fluorescent signal or cycle numbers (Cq) very different from the targeted species. The newly developed assay was tested on commercial samples from German supermarkets and fishmongers accompanied by simultaneous verification through Sanger sequencing, which revealed a high mislabelling rate of 48%, especially for products purchased at fishmongers.
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