Application of DNA analysis in development of traceability system in meat processing production

Collaborative biotechnological project of the Croatian Institute of Technology (HIT) and Genos Ltd introduces molecular biology methods for the purpose of identity and kinship determination of domestic cattle (Bos Taurus).

The current approach to cattle traceability in the Republic of Croatia is based on the so-called “tags” which can be extremely easily manipulated. Development of molecular biology methods in past two decades has enabled introduction of new technologies which significantly contribute to establishing of more efficient system of traceability. Today, it is possible to prove with very high probability whether two biological samples (blood, meat, bone) originate from the same individual, from its parents or its descendants, or again from individuals that are not kin. It is difficult to manipulate results of genetic and molecular characterizations, and it is very easy to verify them at any time.

Identity and kinship determination is carried out by the well known application of short tandem repeats. The new combination of already known markers has been arranged according to new findings in molecular-genetic structure of cattle population in the Republic of Croatia. Several different combinations of genotyping kits have already been present on the market nevertheless the fact that the existing multiplex systems are not adapted represents an obstacle for high quality and quick analysis of the Croatian cattle population.

Newly in house developed multiplex set for cattle identity determination can be incorporated as a new method in the traceability system of the meat processing industry. Usage of this method would introduce additional controls on meat and meat products market: official certificate of beef origin, official certificate for the bovine semen, testing of originality of products and traceability of cattle in the Republic of Croatia.