Consumption of animal products and frauds: DNA-based methods for the investigation of authenticity and traceability in dairy and meat-derived products – a review
The increase in the population’s acquisition power in emerging countries like Brazil has resulted in increased consumption of meat, milk and their derivatives, and a consequent growing surveillance regarding the responsibility of maintaining the quality of these food products. The total or partial replacement by other than the species declared on the product label in meat, milk or derived products compromises the nature and quality of these products, hurting consumer choice rights, which may be based on medical and nutritional recommendations, the economic value of the product or habits and/or dietary restrictions of each specific culture. Species identification in dairy and meat products is important in food traceability. Although food matrices are complex and variable, biomolecular techniques are gradually being applied for species identification, having proven increasingly reliable, fast, specific and highly sensitive, even in mixed samples. For these reasons, this review intends to show the main molecular methods applied to adulteration detection in dairy and meat derivatives, including an already established method, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), as well as more advanced technologies, such as real-time PCR, next-generation DNA sequencing methods and DNA biochip or DNA microarray, which have been gradually applied to the detection and quantification of exogenous DNA in food samples, even if present in small amounts.
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