Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Project to Combat Food Fraud Wins UK Government Grant

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Last Updated: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Government funding to accelerate the development of a new test to combat food fraud.

Three UK companies have secured government funding to accelerate the development of a new test to combat food fraud in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. The test will detect any DNA in processed foods coming from at least 12 different animal species, including some not normally associated with the food chain. By quantifying the relative amounts of DNA, the test will also indicate the severity of any contamination or deliberate adulteration.

The one-year project is a collaboration between Safeguard Biosystems Holdings Ltd (“SG Bio”), Reading Scientific Services Ltd (“RSSL”) and Arrayjet Ltd (“Arrayjet”). Its potential impact was recognized by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, who will co-fund it with the Food Standards Agency and the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Additional funding is provided by the three companies.

This new test is based on proprietary DNA detection technology, developed by the lead partner SG Bio, and will allow identification and quantification of Cow, Pig, Chicken, Horse, Goat, Sheep, Turkey, Donkey, Dog, Cat, Rat and Mouse in foods.

The principle of the test is to identify the targeted DNA sequences in a given food sample and then to calculate the ratio of different species within a sample to establish whether adulteration or contamination has occurred.

The new test aims to reduce the cost and time of food testing so that it becomes possible to routinely check all points in the supply chain. The currently available tests are limited by cost and time. The key to speeding up the process and bringing down costs is making it high-throughput.

It will do this by taking advantage of microarray technology, which enables biological tests to be miniaturized and multiplexed. This allows multiple DNA tests to be carried out on a single sample simultaneously, whilst also enabling multiple food samples to be processed in parallel.

The project has been designed collaboratively utilizing SG Bio’s DNA expertise, Arrayjet’s printing specialization and RSSL’s (a certified food-testing laboratory) expertise in food authenticity.

SG Bio will design and calibrate the test utilizing a reusable DNA SensorArray™ capable of handling 96 separate samples at a time. Once the SensorArray™ design is completed, Arrayjet will be responsible for manufacturing them under tightly regulated conditions.

RSSL will be responsible for extracting DNA from a wide range of raw meat and processed food samples from verified sources and then using these to validate the SensorArray™. For independent corroboration, DNA samples will also be sent to Campden BRI for additional validation.

Expansion of the range of meat species will follow in future versions, as well as the ability to authenticate the breed or location of origin.

Migrating the technology to other food groups that are susceptible to fraud or adulteration such as fish, juices and wine is also planned.

Ultimately the partners would like to see the test used for mass screening by retail chains, regulatory bodies, restaurant and fast food outlets, meat processors and food producers globally to provide consumers with assurance as to what they are buying.

The publication of results is expected in late 2014.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde Content in Foods
Korean researchers have determined the content of the toxic and carcinogenic aldehydes, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in a variety of food groups.
Increasing Vitamin D Supplementation
New study from ETH Zurich finds that elderly women should consume more vitamin D than previously recommended during the winter months.
IARC Monographs Evaluate Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat
Processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Nanoparticles in Foods Raise Safety Questions
Nanoparticles can make foods like jawbreaker candies brighter and creamier and keep them fresh longer. But researchers are still in the dark about what the tiny additives do once inside our bodies.
Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos