The European definition of meat is more restrictive than the national one. There is a need for a reliable method for the direct determination of meat content in a wide variety of cooked products to ensure conformity with the European definition.
This project aimed to develop an immunological procedure to directly quantify muscle protein from various species in a single assay. <br>
The research steps involved in achieving this objective include:
Raise polyclonal antibodies against heat-treated hydrophobic muscle proteins from pork, lamb, beef, and poultry. Affinity-purify IgG components and create an antibody mixture.
<li>Assess commercially available monoclonal antibodies to other muscle components (such as myosin and actin) for suitability to this assay.
<li>Develop a quantitative colorimetric enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) protocol using the antibody cocktail prepared.
<li>Prepare standards for calibration of the assay so that the immuno-response measured by the ELISA can be directly related to meat content.</ul>
<p>The end-goal is to apply the assay to the testing of cooked meat products. Validity will be examined by testing a range of samples, for which the composition is known, that contain components that fall outside the definition of lean meat. The results will undergo statistical comparison with those obtained by the traditional Stubbs and More technique.
<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>.