Quinoa, coix seed, wild rice and chickpea have experienced increasing demand globally and have high economic values. Therefore, they are susceptible to substitution. In this study, a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for rapid detection and authentication of quinoa, coix seed, wild rice and chickpea in composite foods was developed. Specific primers and probes were designed with 2S albumin genes of quinoa, SAD genes of coix seed, ITS genes of wild rice and CIA-2 genes of chickpea as the target genes, and the resulting alleles were of relatively small size (130-360bp). The assay identified the target ingredients with a content below 0.01%. A total of 24 commercially available processed food samples were tested by the qPCR method, and the results indicate that this method is applicable to the detection of ingredients in different matrices, and in highly processed composite foods.
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