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News 461 views last update:Dec 11, 2007

Scientists develop genetic markers to trace meat

An identity test to confirm the breed and origin of meat from farm animals has been developed by scientists at the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Developed together with research company, Applied Biosystems, the test uses genetic markers to identify individual animals and thus making way for complete meat traceability.

In the December issue of Animal Genetics (Vol. 6, issue 38), the findings can be viewed.

The study validated 46 SNPs (genetic markers that are all single nucleotide polymorphisms), from a set of 120, for identifying pigs from five different purebred lines. The SNPs were investigated in each DNA sample from hundreds of pigs using the SNPlex Genotyping System.

In each pig's sample, the pattern of SNPs enabled the scientists to identify individual pigs and their parentage for the five breeds.

Use
The tests are beneficial for animal breeders and farmers who wish to identify genetic markers associated with meat quality and flavour. They could also be adapted for traceability in sheep and other animals.

Lars Holmkvist, Applied Biosystems'president for Europe, stated that "the SNP-test is a convenient, easy-to-use and affordable tool for farmers, breeders and meat producers to prove their products are of a high-quality".

Hypor España GP, part of Hendrix Genetics, funded the project in collaboration with the Universitat and Applied Biosystems.

Related websites:

• Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

• Applied Biosystems

• Hypor España GP 

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