New Strategies for Tracing Foodstuffs: Biological Barcodes Utilising PCR-DGGE

Aly Farag El Sheikha, PhD*

New Strategies for Tracing Foodstuffs: Biological Barcodes Utilising PCR-DGGE

Traceability of foods is undertaken primarily at the administrative level, and the use
of advanced analytical tools is rare.

Nevertheless, the determination of geographical origin
is a demand of the traceability system for the import and export of foodstuffs.

It is hypothesised that foodstuffs can be traced at source by analysing food sample
microbial communities after they have been exported.

For this purpose, rDNA profiles generated by PCR-DGGE may be used
to detect variability in microbial community structures inherent to fish, fruits and grains.

This is an emerging traceability tool that imprints food with a unique biological bar code
and makes it possible to trace food to its original location.

In addition, this analytical technique provides a means to monitor and fully
understand the ecology of mycotoxin producing fungi.

Food traceability is a growing consumer concern worldwide.
In view of the difficulties involved in installing documentary systems in developing
countries and in following foodstuffs through the production process,
one possible approach is to identify and validate molecular
fingerprinting based on the food’s environment to assure traceability.

Currently, there are no analytical methods available that permit the efficient determination
of foodstuff origin or that allow them to be followed during international trade.

In case of doubt or fraud, it is necessary to find a precise and fast analytical technique
to assign geographical origin.

It thus seems difficult to use fruit genomic markers to ensure the
traceability of Shea tree fruits. However, the skin of fresh fruits is not sterile and can carry
microorganisms or their fragments.

The presence of various microorganisms depend on the
external environment of the fruit, but microorganisms also result from human activity.

Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2015; SE(1): S1-S7. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-SE-1-101