meat species substitution (2)


Measures to monitor meat substitution are in place in many developed countries, however, information about similar efforts in sub-Saharan Africa is sparse. Kenyan researchers have developed a PCR-HRM (High Resolution Melting) analysis targeting three mitochondrial genes—cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1), cytochrome b (cyt b), and 16S rRNA, to detect 7 species ( goat, sheep, bovines, pig, camel, rabbit and chicken) of commercially traded meat in Kenya. One hundred and seven meat samples (whole pieces) were collected from randomly selected stalls in Nairobi’s major meat wholesale market (Burma market) and butcheries in the 10 surrounding districts.  Out of the 107 samples, 11 (10.3%) had been substituted, with the highest rate being observed in samples sold as goat (7 out of 30 samples). The PCR-HRM assay worked with fresh, dried, heated and decomposed meat, as well as admixtures of the different species. and is regarded as a robust and reliable assay for meat species.

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Malayasian researchers have developed an assay to simultaneously determine 7 meat species (beef, buffalo, chicken, duck, sheep, goat and pork) in processed meat products. Species specific primers to the 7 species were designed, which target the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) genes, to amplify short DNA fragments (73-263 bp) by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). These were then treated with 3 restriction enzymes ( FatI, BfaI, and HPY188I) to cut the amplicons down into smaller fragments, which were separated by gel electrophoresis. The bp (base pair) length and number of these fragments are unique to each of the species. The assay was tested against 25 non-target species to ensure specificity to the 7 target species, and the limit of detection was determined as 0.5% (w/w) in different matrices. The assay worked on heat treated meat products. A survey of local market meat products detected  buffalo DNA in 84% of commercial beef burgers and frankfurter products tested.

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