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Exploration of novel technologies to provide rapid and cost-effective methods for counteracting food fraud


Almost any food commodity can be the subject of food fraud which includes substitution fraud, addition fraud and country of origin fraud, among others. Three different techniques that will detect all of the types of fraud will be investigated and if appropriate will be fully validated. Loop mediated isothermal or ""LAMP"" is a nucleic acid amplification technique with advantages over traditional PCR. It will be used in speciation studies. Benchtop NMR will be used to profile cold-pressed rapeseed oil, a high value artisan product being produced in Ireland and prone to adulteration with cheaper oils. Rapid evaporative ionization mass spectrometry (REIMS) will be used in conjunction with dissection for tissue identification as an approach termed “intelligent knife” (iKnife). This will be applied, for the first time, to differentiate between meat types and fish species, for its ability to detect chemical contamination of meat and also give information about the geographic origin of meat simultaneously.

All procedures will be demonstrated to a wide range of industry and governmental stakeholders. Work on a wide range of foods known to be very prone to fraud will be carried out, namely (1) cheese (2) fish (3) red meat (4) rapeseed oil - all very important commodities produced and sold on the island of Ireland. A successful outcome of this research will bring about a paradigm shift in food fraud detection.

Elliott, Chris
Queen's University - Belfast
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