The transfer of the current DNA methods for the verification of exotic and commercial meat species to the lab-on-a-chip system, will begin by modifying the current experimental conditions to make them compatible with the lab-on-a-chip system. Once this is achieved the successful transfer of the method will be confirmed by challenging and evaluating both lab-on-a-chip method and comparing it with the current methods. Comparison of the two methods will permit a statistically based validation to be performed.
Finally, a standard operating procedure will be written to allow the newly developed method to be quickly and easily adopted by interested stakeholders.
This project is one of a number of projects commissioned by the Agency to transfer existing DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based methods for verifying the identity of foods for consumer protection to the lab-on-a-chip capillary electrophoresis system.
The lab-on-a-chip technology is faster, safer, and more cost effective than current gel based methods. The technology has already been adopted in several public analyst laboratories for checking the authenticity of some food products. By offering a portfolio of DNA methods, and increasing the range of product that can be tested, it is hoped to encourage more public analysts to take up the technology thus potentially improving food standards legislation enforcement.
These studies will produce detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) to provide public analysts and other labs with all the information required to reproduce the methods. Manufacturers will also be able to check their own raw materials and products to ensure that they are compliant with the legislative labelling requirements.
This project aims to adapt existing PCR methods for the detection of the exotic meats including - horse, donkey, pheasant, duck and venison as well as the main commercial meats - pork, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey, to the lab-on-a-chip technology.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.