Sometimes manufacturers can break the rules and add to regular meat, for example, beef, which is prohibited for sale and consumption. To solve the problem, scientists have developed a DNA-based meat testing kit.
The technology, created at the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand, was developed primarily for Muslims, since they are prohibited by Islamic law from eating pork or meat of predatory animals and not only. However, people of many religions probably won’t be thrilled with rat or dog meat, which the university claims is secretly added to beef in some countries.
Scientists have used nucleic acid lateral flow analysis (DNA analysis) to create special nitrocellulose test strips that are placed on a drop of solution containing raw or cooked foods. Within three hours, the stripes on the test will change color, indicating traces of pig, dog, cat, rodent, or monkey DNA.
Researchers say similar testing done in a lab will take one to five business days to get results. What’s more, they are working to further reduce processing time.
The system is now being used by business owners, halal verification agencies and “a few consumers with a scientific background,” according to Chulalongkorn University officials.