Archive: June 2014

Adventitious or deliberate meat contamination ?

Raw mince sampleAs long as good manufacturing practice is applied, there should be no detectable carry-over of meat species in UK meat processing plants producing minced meat. This was the conclusion the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced this month, when they released with DEFRA their research findings. The commissioned research, undertaken by LGC, follows the meat authenticity incident last year and continuing food fraud concerns. The FSA seek to provide guidance to help the industry differentiate between adventitious and deliberate contamination below the 1% level. The study examined in a single meat processing plant the production of lean minced beef and carry-over of lean minced pork following cleaning (deep cleaning, high pressure wash and no cleaning). The presence of pig species was identified using two different DNA based methods: one genomic approach detecting pig in beef and another more sensitive mitochondrial one for surface swabs. The genomic DNA method had a reporting limit of 0.1% raw pork in raw beef with a 67%CV. When assessing the effectiveness of cleaning of mincing equipment (usually challenging to clean), ATP swabs proved a more effective and affordable (5-10 fold less) technique than the DNA method evaluated.  Deep cleaning was found to be the most effective method to remove residues followed by ‘wash clean’ if exercised with some care. Where no cleaning is performed between species, as with a push-through method, carry-over was found to occur (up to 5.6% pork in beef) and would require appropriate labelling of meat content for consumers. The limited scope of the study meant that the effect of other factors could not be considered including: different meat species; meats of different fat composition; the effect of processing and inclusion of processed ingredients; processing equipment other than mincing, and different processing practices and facilities. Similarly, the use of ELISA methods for identification of raw meat species versus DNA based methods was not evaluated though reported performance characteristics (reporting limit of 0.1% raw pork) are similar and could offer industry time and cost savings (two fold).

Posted in Speciation

New product: Afla M1-V test strips

vicam_fumo_v modifiedThe capabilities for rapid onsite detection of mycotoxins have just got even better. Bio-Check is launching Vicam’s new quantitative lateral flow test for Aflatoxin M1 , called Afla M1-V™ , expanding its Vertu™ range (Total aflatoxin, fumonisins, DON). Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a hepatocarcinogen found in milk of animals that have consumed feeds contaminated with aflatoxin B1. Such levels may be higher in winter months due to the increased dependency on feeds. AFM1 is resistant to thermal inactivation, pasteurization, autoclaving and will remain in yoghurt, cheese, cream, milk powder, or butter if the milk is contaminated. Global regulatory limits for AFM1 in milk and other dairy products range from 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) in the US to as low as 0.05 ppb for the EU, with even lower limits for food intended for children due to their increased susceptibility. The new Afla M1-V™ test takes just 12 minutes to screen samples to a detection limit of 25ppt and quantify levels up to 0.75ppb. The test therefore is suitable for use in many countries to ensure legal compliance. It’s simple and safe to perform onsite, requiring minimal expertise and no toxins to calibrate the system. All results can be downloaded and manipulated for real-time decision making as well as for trending later. These benefits are already being appreciated by existing users of the Vertu™ system for onsite mycotoxin control. Read more

Posted in Mycotoxins