Document Type


Publication Date



Accurate species identification methods are needed to combat tuna fraud, improve tuna stock regulation, and mitigate health risks associated with mislabeled tuna products. The objective of this study was to conduct a market survey of raw and processed tuna products using a DNA mini-barcoding system based on the mitochondrial control region (CR). A total of 80 samples of raw, dried, and canned tuna products were collected at the retail level for CR mini-barcoding analysis. The samples underwent DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA sequencing of the 236-bp CR mini-barcode. The resulting sequences were searched against GenBank using the nucleotide Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) to determine the species. The study achieved species identification for 100% of the raw samples, 95% of the dried samples, and 50% of the canned samples, for an overall success rate of 86% (69/80 samples). Mislabeling occurred in 11 of the identified samples (16%), including 8 products marketed as raw, dried, or canned yellowfin tuna, 2 samples marketed as dried or canned skipjack tuna, and 1 raw fillet sold as bluefin tuna. Overall, the DNA mini-barcoding system proved to be a promising method in identifying tuna species in both raw and processed samples. However, testing with a secondary marker is required in some cases to resolve instances of possible species introgression. Future research should explore optimization of this method for improved identification of canned tuna samples.


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 134, in 2021.

The Creative Commons license below applies only to this version of the article.

Peer Reviewed




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.