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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2013;30(2):218-25. doi: 10.1080/19440049.2012.740164. Epub 2012 Nov 21.

Authentication of male beef by multiplex fast real-time PCR.

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  • 1Research Department of Genomics and Proteomics Applied to the Marine and Food Industry, ANFACO-CECOPESCA, Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain.


Meat is a significant source of high-quality nutrients, which are very important in the diet. Among meat products, one of the most prized is bovine meat, of which male beef has been designated to be of a higher quality. However, because of its similarity with female beef, deliberate or unintentional substitutions can occur. To avoid this, methodology based on the fast real-time polymerase chain reaction has been developed to authenticate the species and gender origin of beef. This technique consists of two polymerase chain reactions: one bovine-specific reaction and another Y-chromosome-specific multiplex reaction. This methodology has been validated for all kinds of beef products, including those subjected to intensive processing treatments, and it has subsequently been applied to 10 commercial samples labelled as ox to determine whether they are properly labelled. This assay has been shown to have high specificity, sensitivity and rapidity, with the potential to be a powerful tool in enforcing food labelling regulations.

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