Skip to main content

Cost-Efficient Network for the Genetic Certification of Food Quality

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SeQfood (Cost-Efficient Network for the Genetic Certification of Food Quality)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-05-31

In response to the unmet needs to fight against food fraud, Biogenetics is close to complete the first end-to-end solution (DNA barcoding based) for tracking foods along the entire value chain. Our proprietary DNA-based GENOMID® technology, allowed us pioneering exclusive and intelligent 2DNA codes to identify and trace food products with greater precision and accuracy. 2DNA is a scannable code with a mobile phone, similar in functionality to a QR code, which contains all the genetic information about the identity and qualitative characteristics of a food, allowing a fast and secure access to genetic information. 2DNA codes are the only scannable codes specifically designed to store food genetic information and represent a new concept in the molecular bio-identification.
The Biogenetics’ invention is based on proprietary biotechnologies combined as a completely integrative solution comprising these four main components Genowas / GENOMID / 2DNAcodes / SeQFood. The process for food analysis/certification is extremely simple and fast.
The key bottleneck addressed by Biogenetics is finding ways to integrate the enormous amount of useful and unique data in each species to discriminate and take advantage to differentiate the related food product. The competitive advantage to be highlighted will drive the willingness to pay for the SeQfood platform. Differentiating from competition while ensuring the best food safety standards is currently challenging despite the enormous and fast proliferation of guarantee marks and seals, protected denominations of origin (PDOs), etc.
The characterization of a universal marker panel for breed traceability is complex because the most appropriate molecular markers for the specific breed groups that need to be assessed must be identified. The selection of markers will therefore depend on the gene frequency distribution, the genetic distance among breeds, and the presence of private alleles in target populations. Therefore, the strategy requires a preliminary characterization of the genetic structure of the target population. Here, the high-throughput and cost-efficient methodology developed by Biogenetics play a key role to ensure the feasibility of the technology for commercial application.
BIOGENETICS gathered extensive data, sequencing multiple species and obtaining promising success cases in several food products, clearly differentiating our technology both from standard traceability systems and from other DNA approaches.
BIOGENETICS is ready to develop cost-efficient SNPs screening methodology to complement market requirements for each defined country. We have established technical protocols and operational parameters for a fully operational environment. We plan to cover additional screening of markers (GENOWAS) to obtain more scope of validated panels (GENOMID), gaining in discrimination potential and covering more application profiles. Defining the relevant and unique indicators per case study will complete the entire profiles of the SeQfood platform. We have thoroughly defined the technical roadmap to achieve the TRL9 in each of the proposed field.
We can conclude that BIOGENETICS is uniquely positioned to achieve a wide scope traceability system, including unprecedented added value to the entire value chain to differentiate their products while ensure best-in-class food safety. To succeed, we must complete the initial target products (defined on country strategy basis), screening and defining the validated panels in such detail to meet market requirements. Once we have the panels defined we can define tailor made customizations to differentiate the food products along the clients. Therefore, the success of BIOGENETICS needs a powerful SeQfood platform to make straightforward characterization at commercial stage.
BIOGENETICS has a vast potential for a wide range of food products traceability applications. However, to boost the rapid success of our efforts, we performed extensive market analysis into the use of SeQfood for different food products. We considered investment need, market size, demand and needs, technology readiness level, time-to-market and regulatory issues. This analysis, supported by a professional team, revealed several product-market-combinations (PMCs) for which BIOGENETICS has focused efforts, segmenting by country, and considering the PDO/PGI implications.
We have performed a detailed analysis of the major PDO/PDI food products with critical food fraud problems in the EU markets and we have selected beef meat, pig meat, olive oil and cheese products as the target products to start the commercialisation in different selected countries depending on the specific food products, mainly Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The purpose of BIOGENETICS is to enable food operators through a straightforward multi-actor traceability system to improve the resilience of supply chains to food fraud. It provides efficiency on how to assure the authenticity of food by minimising vulnerability to fraud and mitigating the consequences of food fraud. The development and implementation of the SeQfood platform will be the main objective and focus of the Phase 2 SME-Instrument. Determining the market requirements of the SeQfood platform and achieving the key milestone of platform development allow us to complete the TRL9 of the whole solution. Therefore, a detailed analysis has been conducted in order to define the major outcomes and profiles of the SeQfood platform.
GENOWAS is based on proprietary 3rd generation screening technology for SNPs markers, caused by the replacement of a single nucleotide, which have become the breakthrough markers in genetic characterization studies as well as in translational genomic. SNPs are, in fact, the most abundant forms of genetic variation among individuals of a species. SNPs are ideal molecular markers since they require short PCR analytical targets.
Biogenetics’ technology allows for two fundamental features: high taxonomic coverage, and high resolution. High taxonomic coverage (also called ‘universality’) refers to the correct amplification of the genomic region chosen as DNA code in the widest panel of taxa. On the other hand, a high resolution ensures the identification of different taxa, based on interspecific differences in DNA sequences. As a general principle, our selected DNA regions have a high interspecific, and low intraspecific variability.
Certification process is extremely easy and fast. It consists of recovering food samples, from which we obtain a GENOMID pattern of identity and convert it to 2DNA graphic code. Then, we simply compare -representative and randomized-samples from batch to certify with GENOMID pattern. In conclusion, 2DNA barcoding applied to genetic traceability is a useful and trustworthy tool for the identification and authentication of foodstuffs, and it is potentially the proper answer to the transformers’ and consumers’ request of quality confidence.
SeQfood platform multi-value proposition