Occurrence of Mislabeling in Meat Products Using DNA-based Assay

J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Apr;52(4):2479-84. doi: 10.1007/s13197-014-1552-y. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Abstract

Considering that the authentication of food contents is one of the most important issues for the food quality sector, and given the increasing demand for transparency in the meat industry followed the horsemeat scandal in Europe, this study investigates processed-meat products from Italian markets and supermarkets using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene qualitative PCR identification system in order to verify any species substitution or mislabeling. The results revealed a high substitution rate among the meat products, highlighting a mislabeling rate of 57 %, and consequently, considerable discordance with the indications on the labels, which raises significant food-safety and consumer-protection concerns.

Keywords: DNA-based method; Meat products; Mislabeling; Species identification.