Finding a contaminating species in food is not always simple. Before being marketed as the finished food item on shop shelves, animal flesh is frequently subjected to extensive processing. It is challenging to tell which species might be present because the finished product rarely matches the animal from which it was derived. As a result, people frequently overlook contamination and food authenticity.
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Dangers of consuming unknown food products
It is concerning for reasons related to public health, the economy, religion, and the law when unwelcome or unknown animal species are present in food. These consequences can range from benign to fatally dangerous. Determining species makeup is crucial, for instance, to avoid allergic reactions to specific animal products.
Unknowingly consuming an allergen might pose a major risk to one’s health. Furthermore, people may unintentionally transgress their religious beliefs due to the ambiguous existence of animal products in vegetarian food. Additionally, using an inferior animal species in a food product, sometimes known as “food fraud,” has negative financial and legal repercussions.
Retailers must ensure that the items live up to their statements about their food’s climate impact as more consumers expect greater sustainability standards. Thanks to DNA food testing, retailers and customers may both be confident that the promises on the food labels they buy in the store correspond to the information on the labels.
DNA food testing
Microarray Analysis of Food
DNA is the fundamental component that every animal in the food chain shares. While many animals share many DNA sequences, specific gene sequences are unique. Scientists can identify the DNA of different species by measuring these well-known varied genetic sequences.
Every living creature has DNA, which can be utilized as a potent analytical tool to identify the types of meat or fish in meals and food products. For instance, real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR for short) is used in the lab to analyze food DNA isolated from fillets or prepared meals. This enables scientists to make several copies of the DNA they can detect.
The ability of the technology to concurrently and accurately detect several gene sequences makes it a suitable technique for differentiating between animal species that may be present in food.
The microarray was once only used for fundamental scientific study, but industrial flexibility and scalability have made it a tool that is also being developed for diagnostic uses. The initial diagnostic application was intended for the clinic to identify biological anomalies and enhance human health.
Arrays can now be made with enough processing power, size, and cost to be employed in nonclinical diagnostic contexts, thanks to developments in production technology. Food testing is the first application of microarray technology outside of disease and drug-discovery applications.
The sum up
DNA-based traceability ought to raise sustainability requirements. Farmers that cut costs lose their competitive advantage to those who make further sustainability commitments and have their products inspected. Using DNA technology, you may objectively demonstrate the various farming practices, tracing their origins to verify that they occur.