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Evaluation of DNA Based Methods for Fruit Juice Authentication Using PCR and Lab-on-a-Chip

Institutions
Leatherhead Food International
Start date
2006
End date
2008
Objective
This research focuses on optimisation of the RFLP method and the mis-match procedure for the detection of adulteration in orange juice. Mis-match analysis involves the resolution and quantification of heteroduplexes formed during PCR by the annealing of co-amplified DNA sequences from two different species. The method will be extensively validated using blind trial of fruit juice mixes to assess the ability of the assay to detect adulteration especially at low levels.
More information
Background:
The Agency has funded a number of recent projects focusing on transfer of DNA methods to a capillary electrophoresis “lab on a chip” platform. This is a simple, robust format for accurate sizing and quantification of DNA fragments and thus is suited for routine use by Public Analyst laboratories. There can be significant economic gain by illegally adulterating fruit juices with cheaper alternative juices. A method to detect fruit juice adulteration on the basis of identifying the species of fruit is required to establish where fraudulent substitution has occurred and protect the consumer from these practices. This project aims to transfer an existing DNA method to the lab on a chip platform based on heteroduplex formation during the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) of orange juice adulterated with mandarin or tangerine juices. The research will apply a mismatch procedure to try and make the method more sensitive. The heteroduplex approach will be extended to test the authenticity of pomegranate juice. The project also will transfer an existing RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) method for grapefruit adulteration in orange juice to the lab on a chip platform.

Research Approach:
This research focuses on optimisation of the RFLP method and the mis-match procedure for the detection of adulteration in orange juice. Mis-match analysis involves the resolution and quantification of heteroduplexes formed during PCR by the annealing of co-amplified DNA sequences from two different species. The method will be extensively validated using blind trial of fruit juice mixes to assess the ability of the assay to detect adulteration especially at low levels.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
Q01114
Categories
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Commodities
Produce