IdentiGEN partners with Swiss meat industry on DNA traceability system

The meat industry intends to introduce a national and independent DNA traceability system for the detection of Swiss meat in the spring of 2018. At its meeting on 7 April, the Governing Body of Proviande, the branch organization, adopted the relevant principles. The final implementation decision is expected at the end of June 2017.

Swiss meat is popular and enjoys great trust among consumers. Maintaining and deepening this trust is one of the central tasks of the entire meat value chain.

A working group headed by Proviande, with representatives from the whole meat sector, has developed the basis for the national introduction of a system for the traceability of Swiss meat by means of DNA in recent months. The new system is intended to provide proof that meat and meat products with a Swiss origin certificate are actually derived from animals that have been kept and slaughtered in Switzerland. At its meeting on 7 April, the Proviande Governing Board approved the relevant principles.

The first step is to introduce the system for beef and veal. A reference sample is to be taken from each animal in the slaughterhouse for the purpose of proof of origin using DNA and then analyzed in a Swiss laboratory. The technology partner in this project is IdentiGEN Ltd. The new control system will, in the future, increase the transparency and security of the declaration of Swiss meat thanks to the clear proof of provenance, thereby further strengthening the confidence of consumers.

UK’s Seafresh to supply M&S with DNA-traceable farmed shrimp

UK’s Seafresh to supply M&S with DNA-traceable farmed shrimp

UK importer Seafresh is set to supply retailer Marks and Spencer with farmed shrimp which, for the first time, claims to offer DNA-based assurance as to origin and quality.

Through enhanced transparency the TraceBack program will also help promote ethical labor practices, which have been highlighted in the global shrimp industry, the project said.

The technology offering – already available in animal meat – has been developed by DNA tracing company IdentiGEN, in partnership with Seafresh.

Seafresh’s Central American shrimp will be sold at M&S outlets in the UK, the first time such an offering has been brought to the consumer, said IdentiGEN in a press release.

IdentiGEN co-founder and director Ronan Loftus said the application of DNA TraceBack to the industry brings a further degree of accountability to production and labor practices, which are increasingly being demanded by both retailers and the consumer.

“With its complex and global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labor,” he said.

“This program will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”

Recent scientific advances in DNA technology has made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.

A sample taken from a female shrimp can apparently be used to trace all of its progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to its farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy.

“This makes DNA sampling and TraceBack of large numbers of shrimp from the fork back to their exact farm of production possible and cost efficient. The system can also be used to trace shrimp post-cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different sources can occur.”