Barbara van Asch and colleagues explain that premium dairy products, such as imported specialty cheeses labeled with a designation of origin, are most vulnerable to adulteration. Unscrupulous manufacturers may substitute a less costly ingredient for an expensive one or skimp on high-quality ingredients. Previous studies show that the problem is widespread, with bogus dairy products surfacing in Italy, Spain, China, India and other countries. Current methods of detecting fakes can’t simultaneously detect cow, goat, sheep and buffalo milks — the ones most likely to be involved in adulteration — and have other drawbacks. The scientists thus set out to develop a better test.
They describe development and successful laboratory testing of such a test on 96 dairy products commercially available in Europe, including cheeses, milks, yogurts and butters. About 12 percent of the products did not contain ingredients listed on the labels. For example, one product label indicated that it was made from 100 percent sheep milk. The test, however, showed that it also contained ingredients from cows and goats.
The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society.Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
- Joana Gonçalves, Filipe Pereira, António Amorim, Barbara van Asch. New Method for the Simultaneous Identification of Cow, Sheep, Goat, and Water Buffalo in Dairy Products by Analysis of Short Species-Specific Mitochondrial DNA Targets. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; 60 (42): 10480 DOI:10.1021/jf3029896