The Fish Labelling Regulations require certain fish products be labelled with the commercial designation of the species present. In order to verify these labelling requirements and protect the consumer from fraud, species identification methods are required. <P>
This project aimed to build on from a previous project (Q01069) by expanding the current database of fish profiles with a wider range of commercial fish species.
Research Approach:<BR> Project Q01069 successfully developed a restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (RFLP-PCR) method for use on a Lab-on-a-chip platform to identify a number of whitefish species. This method works by specifically amplifying segments of DNA in the fish sample and creating a species-specific fingerprint, similar to a barcode. This new project aimed to use the same approach to generate DNA profiles for an extended range of fish species and also for canned tuna, salmon and scallops. The project also investigated the feasibility of using the ‘cytochrome oxidase (COI)’ gene as a target for RFLP PCR identification of fish species
Results and findings:<BR>
A database of over 100 theoretical RFLP PCR profiles was generated for fish species using sequence information from the EU ‘Fish Trace’ project. The theoretical profiles were confirmed using authentic samples for 35 of the fish species including Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Dover Sole, Dab, Monkfish and Halibut. A RFLP PCR method for confirmation of 5 canned Salmon species and 5 canned tuna species was also developed on the Lab-on-a-chip platform. A RFLP PCR method to distinguish King and Queen Scallop was successfully transferred to the Lab-on-a-chip platform but could not be fully validated. Standard Operating Procedures for the verification of canned salmon and tuna species are available.
<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>.