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Food Addit Contam. 2006 Jul;23(7):645-50.

Effect of heat and pressure processing on DNA fragmentation and implications for the detection of meat using a real-time polymerase chain reaction.

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Central Science Laboratory, York YO41 1LZ, UK.


The design of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for the detection of meat in processed products has focused on using small amplicons, often to the detriment of specificity. However, the relationship between amplification rates and the amplicon size for processed meat products has yet to be determined. To investigate this relationship, real-time PCR assays were designed to give a series of amplicons of increasing size. These assays were then used to assess amplification rates, in relation to amplicon size, in processed meat matrices. Although the most sensitive assays were those that used the smallest amplicons, amplification was still observed using amplicons of 351 base pairs for highly processed samples. It was found, therefore, that although in general, amplicons should be as small as possible, larger amplicons give efficient amplification and that small amplicons should not be chosen if they compromise assay specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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