It has been a requirement to state the country of origin in food labeling since December 2014 according to EU regulation 1169/2011. Traditionally, paper traceability and tagging systems would have been sufficient proof of food origin. However, due to modern widespread transportation of food products across international borders, there are now more opportunities for the unscrupulous relabeling of products by the criminal fraternity.
As a consequence, there exists a growing requirement from the enforcement agencies to have rapid and reliable analytical methods that can verify the validity of source of origin labeling.
During the last decade both elemental and isotopic based measurements have provided the basis for the verification of the point of origin of food products. Molecular biology approaches focusing on DNA-based
techniques are increasingly being evaluated for use in traceability of origin studies.
Government chemist report
The aim of this report is to provide a review on these DNA technologies for the determination of the geographical point of origin of food stuffs. The report provides example applications of country of origin labeling as well as describing the potential advantages and disadvantages of each of the DNA based technologies.