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Content archived on 2024-04-30

Development of methods to identify foods produced by means of genetic engineering


In the near future foods produced by means of genetic engineering will be increasingly commercially available. On the other hand the EU Regulation No. 258/97 on Novel Foods and Novel Food Ingredients requires labelling of such foods. Thus validated methods to identify genetically modified foods must be available to the food control. The analytical techniques applied within the scope of the project are predominantly based on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and hybridization techniques using specific probes in different variations. But also alternative approaches to DNA diagnostic methods - i.e. immunochemical protein analysis - are applied.

The project aims to develop and evaluate methods for the identification of foods produced by genetic engineering and to provide a data bank. Six methods will be choosen for intercomparison studies. These methods shall be internationalized to facilitate the exchange of products and to support the harmonization of labelling practice. Therefore methods succesfully applied in ringtesting studies will be proposed for conversion into CEN standards.
A variety of DNA extraction methods were developed for raw and processed foods. Many primer pairs have been deduced and were used to test the quality of extracted DNA for the PCR. Extraction methods and deduced primer were compared between partners so that on the basis of these results ringtesting of elevated methods can start during the second year of the project. Methods were developed to identify kanamycin (PCR) and hygromycin resistance (PCR ELISA) in transgenic plants. NASBA and 3SR techniques have been initiated in microorganisms. AFLP fingerprinting technique was applied succesfully with DNA isolated from dried rice grains. The structure of a data bank was developed so that parallely a modul system comprising of proposals for DNA-extraction, primer, probes and PCR-condition for a given genetically modified food can now be build up.

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Bundesinstitut für Gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutz und Veterinärmedizin
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88-92,Thielallee 88-92
14191 Berlin

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Participants (11)