How well do you know your food?

How well do you know your food?

Spices are parts of a plants that have been powdered into small pieces; they are widely used in cooking and some are known to have medicinal benefits. In some countries, plants used for spices are considered economic crops. For example, Saffron, per ounce, is worth more than gold! However, where there is potential for economic gain there is also potential for exploitation.Particularly with spices, as they are distributed in their processed form, it can be very difficult to prove and identify their original species and whether they are the genuine product.Recent developments combining DNA barcoding and High Resolution Melting Analysis (HRM) has been used by scientists to determine the authenticity of several spices belonging to the Zingiberaceae family (ginger family) [1].Only one of seven of the shops which bought spice products contained the species on their label, the remainder were either incorrect or had contamination of other products in them. Being able to detect substitution, adulteration or contamination of products...
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DNA analysis joins the fight against seafood fraud

DNA analysis joins the fight against seafood fraud

Fraud is one of the biggest issues in seafood industry. It is thought that up to one quarter of the seafood on the market is not labeled with the correct species ID and behind this also lies the depletion of marine populations, threats to food security and up to $23 billion in economic losses globally each year.DNA and genomics have great potential to improve seafood traceability and therefore protect consumers. Currently, DNA barcoding, the term given to species identification by use of DNA technology is carried out by sequencing a section of the mitochondrial DNA to identify the species and in many cases these data can be used to trace the sample back to the population of origin.Mislabeling usually involves substitution of a cheaper fish with a more expensive one (e.g. pollack for cod, pollack for langoustines in “scampi” or rainbow trout for sea trout).One final possibility that genetic analysis offers the chance to identify traces of DNA from illegally...
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