Amanda M. Naaum, Robert Hanner, Steven Newmaster and the team at TRU-ID have been fighting to provide consumer confidence in the authenticity of food and natural health products for years. Established in 2013, TRU-ID is the world’s 1st certification program founded on cutting edge DNA biotechnology, in support of businesses who seek authentic ingredients. In July, they presented a poster entitled “On-Site DNA Testing for Species Authenticity in Food and Natural Health Products” at the 2017 qPCR & Digital PCR Congress held in Philadephia, PA. As you can tell from the poster’s title, their latest tool in the fight for food integrity is onsite testing enabled by Biomeme.
Food fraud and its result, counterfeit food, is a major problem. Not only does it present a health risk to misled consumers, it also comes with a steep economic cost for businesses. In 2013 the New York Times reported that “economic adulteration and counterfeiting of global food and consumer products was expected to cost the [grocery] industry $10 billion to $15 billion a year.” Through its poster presentation, TRU-ID has demonstrated that Biomeme’s platform can be used to combat food fraud, and fight for food integrity.
The Poster details how Dr. Naaum and her colleagues were able to develop species specific real-time PCR assays that are able to take advantage of the Biomeme platform. The team chose Biomeme because it met their needs – a system with minimal equipment that provides results that are simple to interpret. They found that “Biomeme offers simplified, equipment-free protocols for DNA extraction as well as a portable real-time PCR instrument suitable for on-site DNA testing.”
To confirm that the Biomeme platform will work for onsite testing Dr. Naaum and her colleagues performed experiments on seafood using both the Biomeme sample prep as well as the Biomeme two3 thermocycler. Dr. Naaum found, “the Biomeme DNA extraction protocol successfully extracted DNA suitable for real-time PCR analysis from all seafood products including canned, smoked and filleted fish.” In addition, “All assays were tested on multiple individuals of the target species, and multiple non-target species to ensure specificity. In addition to the Two-Three device, all assays were tested on the LightCycler (Roche) and SmartCycler II (Cepheid) at the University of Guelph to confirm test performance on multiple instruments.”
Ultimately, the combination of TRU-ID’s assays with Biomeme’s platform resulted in, “…a rapid, robust and cost-effective means for on-site DNA testing.” To learn more, or to see the full findings, please see the PDF of the poster.
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