Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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A method and kit for food analysis

food traceabilitygenetic authenticationmolecular taxonomy


The invention concerns a method and the related kit for identyifing animal species present in food as single ingredient or in mixture in both raw material and products.

Technical features

The invention is based on a method that allows the identification and the selective amplification of target DNA genomic sequences that are diagnostic at animal (vertebrate) species level. By the use of a single pair of oligonucleotide primes multiple target regions are amplified by a single PCR reaction in any animal species. The number of the amplified genomic DNA fragments and their length in base pairs is specific for each animal species. Amplified fragments separated by electrophoresis release a pattern, a genome profile that is distinct for each analyzed animal species. The primers pair, the kit, the protocol and conditions of amplification as well as the conditions for fragments separation are parts of the invention. The amount required for testing may go from few to 20 grams at the most. At least, four different animal species can be detected in a single analyzed sample as verified for minced meat present in ravioli, lasagne and bolognese sauce.

Possible Applications

  • Versatility: the same single pair of primers works on any animal species;
  • Applicability to both raw materials (to purity and lack of contaminants) and products and/or mixtures;
  • No need of any a prior information on the target genome sequences;
  • Independent from nucleic acid sequencing;
  • Semi-quantitative data can be furnished;
  • Results are easy to understand (even by non-professionals and agri-food stakeholders);
  • Association of DNA genomic profile (DNA barcode) to a QRcode;
  • Conveniency: the cost per analysis is low, affordable.


  • Meat (e.g. fillet, hamburger, kebab);
  • Minced meat (e.g. ravioli, tortellini, lasagne, ragù, meat balls);
  • Processed meat (e.g. salami, cold cuts);
  • Halal and kosher foods;
  • Fish species;
  • Fish (e.g. canned, fillets, hamburger);
  • Caviar;
  • Foods fraud recognition (e.g. horse-rat-mouse-dog meat and fish species substitutions).