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Neogen Responds to Horse Meat in Beef Concerns

by 5m Editor
14 March 2013, at 11:16am

US - Neogen Corporation has seen a spike in sales of its rapid meat speciation test kits as beef processors scramble to respond to the unscrupulous use of horse meat, and other species of meat, in the economic adulteration of beef products.

Neogen offers easy and accurate meat speciation testing options that can be performed on-site, including F.A.S.T. Species Identification Kits. The F.A.S.T. kits are simple screening tests that detect the existence of a different species in uncooked meats and meat products as low as 1 per cent. Kits are available for the detection of horse, cow, pig, poultry and sheep.

"Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous people have required the entire meat industry to be concerned about the integrity of their products," said Ed Bradley, Neogen's vice president of Food Safety. "Preventing the adulteration of meat products with non-desirable or cheaper animal meat is important for economic, regulatory, health and ethical reasons, especially where particular species of meat are prohibited by cultural or religious beliefs.

"In addition," Mr Bradley continued, "Species identification helps ensure animals treated with veterinary drugs not intended for use in animals intended for human consumption don't make their way into the consumer food chain. For example, the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone is often used in horses, but is banned in food animals because it can cause severe health problems in humans."

Neogen's F.A.S.T. (Food Analyte Screening Test) tests are immunostick assays that can provide clear visual results in about 30 minutes. The company also offers BioKits for Species Identification microwell tests, which provide sensitive, specific qualitative detection for a range of raw and cooked animal species; and DNA-based species identification tests, which use a proprietary magnetic bead technology that provides significant advantages over other methods of DNA extraction.

To complement and support its on-site testing options, Neogen offers contract laboratory services for meat speciation that are carried out by highly trained scientific analysts using state-of-the-art equipment in its location in Scotland. Accredited screening is available for up to eight species.