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DNA barcoding is a promising method for the sequencing-based identification of meat and poultry species in food products. However, DNA degradation during processing may limit recovery of the full-length DNA barcode from these foods. The objective of this study was to investigate the ability of DNA barcoding to identify species in meat and poultry products and to compare the results of full-length barcoding (658 bp) and mini-barcoding (127 bp). Sixty meat and poultry products were collected for this study, including deli meats, ground meats, dried meats, and canned meats. Each sample underwent full and mini-barcoding of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. The resulting sequences were queried against the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD) and GenBank for species identification. Overall, full-barcoding showed a higher sequencing success rate (68.3%) as compared to mini-barcoding (38.3%). Mini-barcoding out-performed full barcoding for the identification of canned products (23.8% vs. 19.0% success), as well as for turkey and duck products; however, the primer set performed poorly when tested against chicken, beef, and bison/buffalo. Overall, full barcoding was found to be a robust method for the detection of species in meat and poultry products, with the exception of canned products. Mini-barcoding shows high potential to be used for species identification in processed products; however, an improved primer set is needed for this application.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Food Control. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Food Control, volume 80, in 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2017.04.025

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