Neogen launches raw pork detection test

Neogen targets pro-active testing for pork with lateral flow assay

Neogen has developed a test to detect raw pork in meat and environmental samples.

Reveal for Pork is a single-step lateral flow immunochromatographic assay.

The assay was developed and manufactured at the European headquarters in Scotland.

The test does not produce false positive results if the sample contained only meat from non-target species, such as beef, horse, poultry or sheep.

It detects raw pork and can be used to screen raw and processed raw meats such as burgers and mince with a one minute water-based extraction and five minute test time.

Pro-active approach

Steve Chambers, sales and marketing director at Neogen Europe, said it allows a pro-active testing approach that could include positive release of raw materials, so if there were any issues, corrective action could be taken before product is released.

“Laboratory results using PCR methodologies are useful, however, very few processors will have facilities to carry out PCR analysis on-site and so will need to send samples out to external laboratories,” he told FoodQualityNews.

“As PCR results may take several days to come back from a laboratory , this is a reactive approach – if there is an issue with a raw meat material or if there has been cross contamination, by the time results are back the product may be available to the consumer (or eaten).”

The assay can detect 0.5% pork meat in a non-target raw meat matrix, such as sausages and burgers, and can be used with environmental swabs and rinse water samples.

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“To ensure consumer confidence, the food industry continues to strengthen its food safety management systems. There is a need for a quick and easy test to help prevent the accidental or deliberate inclusion of pork in other raw processed meats, and to validate cleaning following product changeovers,” said Chambers.

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There are no legislative levels for the amount of unlabelled meat permissible in another meat product.

“The test will enable detection of larger quantities of raw pork that could be seen in instances of potential adulteration, whilst also being sensitive enough to determine if current changeover procedures are adequate to prevent lower level cross-contamination,” said Chambers.

“During development we listened to industry feedback regarding their desire to validate and verify cleaning procedures and developed protocols to enable the test to be used for environmental swabbing and rinse waters, in addition to product samples.

“Raw meat processors such as secondary processors producing minced meats or food manufacturers purchasing raw processed meats for additional processing and who are looking for a quick test that would allow them to evaluate raw materials on intake.”

Lateral flow test strip technology

Reveal for Pork test was part of years of refinements to the Reveal test strip technology, which Neogen uses for other tests, including the Reveal Q+ MAX tests for mycotoxins.

The test follows Neogen’s Reveal format, which uses lateral flow test strips to produce results.

The test procedure takes five steps: Samples are extracted using a water-based extraction. Following extraction, add your sample extract to a prefilled diluent, cap and shake for 10 seconds. Transfer 100 μl of the sample extract to a clear sample cup, place the strip and set the timer for five minutes.

“The sample extract is wicked through a reagent zone, which contains antibodies specific for pork serum albumin proteins conjugated to coloured particles. If pork serum albumins are present, they will be captured by the conjugated antibodies,” said Chambers.

“The pork-antibody-particle complex is then wicked onto a membrane which contains a zone of antibody specific for pork proteins. This zone captures the complex allowing the particles to concentrate and form a visible line. If no pork is present, no line will form.

“The membrane also contains a control zone where an immune complex present in the reagent zone is captured by an antibody, forming a visible line. The control line will always form regardless of the presence of pork, ensuring the strip is working properly.”

Neogen’s meat speciation products include BioKits tests for species identification, which provide qualitative detection of a range of animals.

BioKits tests are available for cooked pork, beef, poultry and sheep and for raw cow, pig, sheep, poultry and horse species.

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