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Food advisory and testing group, Exova, has invested in new equipment that offers the very latest authentication DNA analysis to test food products for the presence of beef, pork, lamb, poultry and horse.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment amplifies fragments of DNA to confirm the meat source is precisely as claimed. During PCR, by alternately heating and cooling the target DNA, through a defined series of temperature steps, the source content or the presence of any undeclared animal protein, even as little as 0.1 per cent, can be precisely confirmed.

Pat McNamara, Operations Manager at Exova’s Birmingham laboratory said:  “This accredited capability ensures a high level of accuracy and gives customers essential confirmation of the validity of the meat content of their products.

“There are benefits for the whole supply chain because we can provide documented proof of authenticity, avoiding any misjudgement and addressing any potential confusion regarding product contents.”

As well as source confirmation for which accreditation is also being sought for other meat species, the PCR process can be applied across a range of testing, from the detection of food poisoning organisms of emerging significance to rapid analysis of Legionella.

The service is being offered by Exova’s food testing laboratory in Birmingham which has built longstanding relationships and trusted partnerships with leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers over 25 years, working on all stages of the product life cycle and beyond.

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