A new weapon in the fight against food fraud

Mike Clark and Giuseppe Tosto of Bio-Rad explain how the company’s new ID-Check Speciation Solution can help in the battle against mislabeling serious cases of food fraud.

The identification of meat species is important in the food industry for reasons of transparency when it comes to labelling, origins, and economic transactions. Estimates suggest that food fraud could cost the industry billions of dollars each year. With multiple cases of adulterated meat hitting the food supply, what can be done to overcome and anticipate potential fraudulent events resulting from intentional use of lower value meat or unintentional contamination?

Enter the ID-Check Speciation Solution, newly launched by Bio-Rad, providing a real‑time PCR method for meat speciation, or the identification of the animal species from which the meat has originated, in food, feed and environmental samples.

Mike Clark (MC):How do you educate potential clients about the importance of meat speciation testing? What are some common misconceptions or questions that arise during these discussions?

Giuseppe Tosto (GT):The first step is to make it clear that every company must create its own analytical internal control plan (chemical, immunological, microbiological, etc) which must follow the entire chain, from the acquisition/cultivation of the raw material to production up to arrival on the sales shelves, as in accordance with the Global Food Safety Standards defined by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) or Safe Quality Food (SQF).

This is vital to facilitate trade and allow consumers to make informed choices. Especially in industrial production, food fraud analysis plans must include methods capable of identifying fraud and its origin, whether commercial or sanitary, and I would underline how contamination during the last stages of processing would increase the production cost, the real security risk and would have a strong impact on the brand image.