// Identification and Differentiation Using Real-Time PCR
// Determination of Product Adulteration
The identification of plants can affect several food areas. In addition to the detection of allergenic plants, this application area also detects plants that can play a role in product adulteration.
Product adulteration is the deliberate exchange, mislabelling, falsification, or imitation of food, raw materials, ingredients, or packaging materials in order to achieve an economic advantage. With all product adulterations, the consumer is given the impression of a higher-quality product. This can be done, for example, by adding inferior substances. Changes in the authenticity of the food (e.g. type, origin, and production) may therefore be of interest. A well-known example is wasabi. Wasabi is a high-quality product and is mixed or replaced with inferior substances. The wasabi paste is supplemented with horseradish and dyes such as brilliant blue and/or lemon yellow.
The variety of sample matrices and process steps influence the choice of suitable detection methods. The CONGEN ServiceLab is a specialist in the field of plant analytics using real-time PCR. Specific methods enable rapid analysis with reproducible results. We currently offer the following detection methods:
- Plant species
- Brassicaceae family
- Pea/ Lentil
- Soft Wheat
The analyses comprises the following steps:
Homogenization and DNA extraction
You send a representative part of the sample material to our service laboratory. The sample is homogenized, and the DNA is extracted in duplicate. Of course, appropriate controls will be carried out:
- The negative extraction control as an indication of buffer contamination or carry over during extraction.
- The positive extraction control (as proof of the functionality of the method used) is carried out in the form of a lot-dependent process control.
The extracted sample DNA can be analysed for up to six parameters using real-time PCR. In qualitative procedures, negative, inhibition, and positive controls are routinely used. If the controls show the expected results, you will receive a test report with the corresponding results and the system-specific detection limit. Please note that the determination is not matrix-specific.
Qualitative DNA Detection / Screening
Unlike allergens, the detection of plant constituents is not designed for the determination of contaminants. Plant detection serves to identify plant species in order to prevent product adulteration. The detection limit is therefore designed for the determination of ingredients in the % range. Exceptions are possible and can be requested directly from us.
Quantitative DNA detection
If a sample has been tested qualitatively positive or expected plant components are to be investigated, the following plants can be quantified using real-time PCR.
- Rice in Basmati
- Soft Wheat in Durum Wheat
The content of plant constituents in samples is determined using a standard series and reference material (with a defined concentration). The sample matrix and processing influence the quantitative result as well as the detection or determination limit. A sample-specific detection limit is not determined. For swabs, sponges, and comparable swab samples, a quantitative statement is generally not possible.