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    The Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies represent a turning point in the food inspection field, particularly for species identification in matrices composed of a blend of two or more species. In this study NGS technologies were applied by testing the usefulness of the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) in seafood traceability. Sixteen commercial surimi samples produced both in EU and non-EU countries were analysed. Libraries were prepared using a universal primer pair able to amplify a short 16SrRNA fragment from a wide range of fish and cephalopod species. The mislabelling rate of the samples was also evaluated. Overall, DNA from 13 families, 19 genera and 16 species of fish, and from 3 families, 3 genera and 3 species of cephalopods was found with the analysis. Samples produced in non-EU countries exhibited a higher variability in their composition. 37.5% of the surimi products were found to be mislabelled. Among them, 25% voluntary declared a species different from those identified and 25% (all produced in non-EU countries) did not report the presence of molluscs on the label, posing a potential health threat for allergic consumers. The use of vulnerable species was also proved. Although the protocol should be further optimized, PGM platform proved to be a useful tool for the analysis of complex, highly processed products.


    Alice Giusti, Andrea Armani, Carmen G Sotelo. Advances in the analysis of complex food matrices: Species identification in surimi-based products using Next Generation Sequencing technologies. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0185586

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    PMID: 28968423

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