Med. Weter. 2019, 75 (7), 404-409

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EWA HABZA-KOWALSKA, MAŁGORZATA GRELA, MAGDALENA GRYZIŃSKA, PIOTR LISTOS
Molecular techniques for detecting food adulteration
Food adulteration means that substances have been added to food that change its composition and reduce its nutritional value. Food adulteration also includes giving a product a misleading name, providing false information on its composition, date of production or expiry date, and any other incorrect labelling. Numerous cases of food adulteration have been recorded in many countries, including Poland. This has led to the creation of a new field of science, known as ‘green criminology’, to combat violations of food law. Over the years, new techniques for identifying food adulterations have been developed. Originally, these were sensory techniques, which proved unreliable. Later, physical analysis of the product was performed on the basis of information on the label and microscopic examination. Later methods, based on identification of lipids and proteins, were also unreliable due to biochemical changes during processing. These problems prompted scientists to become interested in the potential of DNA testing. Due the stability of DNA and the universal applicability of DNA-based methods to all cells, they are ideal for use in practice. Currently, the most reliable test for detecting food adulteration is PCR, as it is a highly sensitive and specific technique.
Keywords: food adulteration, molecular techniques, detection of adulterations, green criminology