We are pleased to announce that ALS is accredited by UKAS for the qualitative detection of mitochondrial DNA using Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) from the following species:
- Chicken (Gallus gallus)
- Cow (Bos Taurus)
- Horse (Equus caballus)
- Pig (Sus scrofa)
- Sheep (Ovis aries)
- Turkey (Meleagris galloparvo)
The accreditation applies to both cooked and raw meat products.
The standard turnaround time for this analysis - which provides a limit of detection of 0.1% - is 10 working days. However, a priority service of 24 hours and 48 hours can also be arranged subject to availability.
What is PCR?
PCR is defined as a molecular technique or process for the amplification of specific fragments of DNA. This allows the production of large quantities of a specific DNA from a DNA template using a simple enzymatic reaction without a living organism. PCR technology allows amplification of a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.
Real Time PCR
In traditional (endpoint) PCR, detection and quantitation of the amplified sequence are performed at the end of the reaction after the last PCR cycle and involve post-PCR analysis such as gel electrophoresis and image analysis.
In real-time PCR, the amount of DNA is measured after each cycle by the use of fluorescent markers that are incorporated into the PCR product. The increase in fluorescent signal is directly proportional to the number of PCR product molecules (amplicons) generated in the exponential phase of the reaction. Fluorescent reporters used include double-stranded DNA (dsDNA)-binding dyes, or dye molecules attached to PCR primers or probes that are incorporated into the product during amplification. The change in fluorescence over the course of the reaction is measured by an instrument that combines thermal cycling with scanning capability (in this case a Biorad CF-X96). By plotting fluorescence against the cycle number, the real-time PCR instrument generates an amplification plot that represents the accumulation of product over the duration of the entire PCR reaction.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodology
ALS also offers a meat speciation testing service using the ELISA method with a L.O.D. of 1-2% of target protein. Although at the current time this test remains non-accredited, it does provide a useful method for detecting the target protein in a variety of food products, both cooked and raw.
Horse (Equine) - only available for raw products
If you require any further information about Meat Speciation Testing at ALS or would like to request a quote, please contact us on 01354 697 028 or at [email protected]