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Scoping study for development and validation of gelatine speciation method and proteomic meat species identification method - FA0163

A short scoping study in two work packages to develop analytical protocols defining the further development, optimisation and validation work required to deliver robust fit for purpose methods for:
i) species origin of gelatine in commercial foods and
ii) non-targeted identification of meat species in processed meat products.

The work should build on the successful outcomes from Fera projects FA0126 & FA0138. The aim ultimately is to have two methods that are fully validated and suitable for transfer to enforcement laboratories with accompanying SOPs.
The scoping study should define the further development, optimisation and validation work required to deliver a method for

i) speciation of pork, beef, horse and poultry gelatine in commercial foods and
ii) non-targeted identification of meat species in processed meat products

in –line with the “Guidelines for Defra contractors involved in the development and validation of food authenticity assays” (attached) and other relevant method validation guidance. The scoping study is expected to produce a detailed workplan of the analytical work required for the validation of the above methods. The scoping study is likely to involve reviewing published literature and previously completed authenticity projects and possibly some laboratory work to guide the scope of the validation required.

• The validation parameters that will be assessed should be identified with justification given for any parameters that are excluded from the study.
• The scoping study should define the work required to develop and validate the methods with the aim of detecting species at the 1% contamination level and to demonstrate the methods work on processed commercial food samples.
• The methods should ultimately be transferable to enforcement laboratories and this should be borne in mind when developing the detailed workplan.
• In addition to single laboratory validation the scoping study should investigate the feasibility of an inter-lab validation of the developed methods including consideration of instrumentation availability in other labs, no. of labs that could be involved and likely costs.

Method specific issues - the scoping study should also discuss the following issues and where appropriate outline the further work required:


• The study should explore the scientific approach needed to develop a rapid diagnostic antibody dipstick test for gelatine speciation for pork, beef, horse and poultry . The feasibility of an antibody-based approach should be investigated and evidence collected to demonstrate the likelihood of generating effective species-specific antibodies to gelatine.
• The sourcing/production of authentic reference samples should be addressed, particularly where industry involvement could assist with this.

Meat species
• The study should define the development, optimisation and validation required to deliver a non-targeted proteomic method for meat species determination to include (as a minimum) horse, cow, goat, pig, sheep, chicken, donkey, rabbit and turkey
• The study should include the work required to challenge the method with processed meat samples representing commercially produced foods.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : FA0163 Evidence Report   (675k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2016

To: 2016

Cost: £58,766
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Food Chain