The absence of morphological identification characters, together with the complexity of the fish supply chain make processed seafood vulnerable to cases of species substitution. Therefore, the authentication and the traceability of such products play a strategic role in ensuring quality and safety. The aim of the present study was to detect species used in the production of multi-species fish burgers and to evaluate mislabelling rates, using a DNA metabarcoding approach by sequencing a fragment of the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene. The study highlighted the presence of 16 marine and 2 mammalian taxa with an overall mislabelling rate of 80%, including cases of species substitution, the undeclared presence of molluscs and of taxa whose use is not permitted by current Italian legislation. The presence of swine DNA as well as the inclusion of undeclared taxa potentially causing allergies raise concerns regarding consumer safety and protection regarding ethical or religious issues. Overall, the study shows that the application of DNA metabarcoding is a promising approach for successfully enforcing traceability systems targeting multi-species processed food and for supporting control activities, as a guarantee of an innovative food safety management system.

DNA metabarcoding for identification of species used in fish burgers

Mottola A.
;
Piredda R.;Giorelli F.;Ciccarese G.;Quaglia N. C.;Di Pinto A.
2022-01-01

Abstract

The absence of morphological identification characters, together with the complexity of the fish supply chain make processed seafood vulnerable to cases of species substitution. Therefore, the authentication and the traceability of such products play a strategic role in ensuring quality and safety. The aim of the present study was to detect species used in the production of multi-species fish burgers and to evaluate mislabelling rates, using a DNA metabarcoding approach by sequencing a fragment of the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene. The study highlighted the presence of 16 marine and 2 mammalian taxa with an overall mislabelling rate of 80%, including cases of species substitution, the undeclared presence of molluscs and of taxa whose use is not permitted by current Italian legislation. The presence of swine DNA as well as the inclusion of undeclared taxa potentially causing allergies raise concerns regarding consumer safety and protection regarding ethical or religious issues. Overall, the study shows that the application of DNA metabarcoding is a promising approach for successfully enforcing traceability systems targeting multi-species processed food and for supporting control activities, as a guarantee of an innovative food safety management system.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/412092
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