Investment made in new meat DNA testing

Food advisory and testing group Exova has invested in new DNA testing equipment to confirm the source of meat found in products.

According to the firm, the new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment offers the latest authentication DNA analysis to test food products for the presence of beef, pork, lamb, poultry and horse.

This can be achieved through alternately heating and cooling the target DNA through a series of temperature steps, said the firm. The source content or the presence of an undeclared animal protein - as little as 0.1% can be detected through the PCR method.

Pat McNamara, operations manager at Exova’s Birmingham laboratory, said: “This accredited capability ensures a high level of accuracy and gives customers essential confirmation of the validity of the meat content of their products.

“There are benefits for the whole supply chain because we can provide documented proof of authenticity, avoiding any misjudgement and addressing any potential confusion regarding product contents.”

The PCR process can be also used the detection of food poisoning organisms.

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