Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Identifying canned tuna species

The tuna canning industry utilises many tuna species. These have a wide range in perceived quality and command different prices in the market. There is great interest, therefore, in determining which species is present in a given commercial product. The project concerned identifying canned tuna species by the characterization of the nucleic acids in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the fish. It is necessary to use DNA techniques because the normal protocols for identifying fish species by electrophoresis of proteins are not valid due to the severe damage to the proteins during the heating stage of the canning process. Although the DNA is also severely degraded, there is sufficient residual material to enable DNA techniques to be applied. DNA analysis has been applied to the identification of pork in autoclaved meat products and to the determination of species identity in canned salmon. In the current study, the DNA was analysed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coupled with single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP). In this technique the PCR is used to amplify 'short sequences' of the degraded DNA. These are then denatured and analysed by gel electrophoresis for detection of SSCP. In this way species-specific patterns (or 'fingerprints') were obtained for a number of tuna and bonito species. In comparison with other methods suitable for fish identification by DNA analysis, SSCP is a sensitive, fast, and easy-to-perform technique. However, it also has disadvantages in that it is necessary to run reference samples alongside on the same gel, and the SSCP pattern gives less information compared to the sequence of the respective DNA strand.

Reported by

The Rowett Research Institute
Greenburn Road Bucksburn
AB21 9SB Aberdeen
United Kingdom
See on map
Síganos en: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Gestionado por la Oficina de Publicaciones de la UE Arriba