13th April 2011. Development of tests for detecting misrepresentation of meats used in processed foods attracts nationwide attention.

Food biosafety in Palestine basked in the floodlight of media attention yesterday, only hours after the Biotechnology Research Center (BRC) at the Palestine Polytechnic University – Hebron made public its latest findings under its food biosafety research initiative. Hitherto concealed within the DNA, which resides inside the tiny energy powerhouses (mitochondria) of every cell, are subtle genetic fingerprints that BRC investigators have used to identify the species of animal used in the manufacture of processed meats that are eaten every day by hundreds of thousands of Palestinian consumers.
The immediate flurry of correspondence and honorable delegations from two national ministries highlight the importance of food biosafety, as well as the role of biotechnology as a tool for national guardianship of the food we eat.
BRC researcher, Asmaa Tamimi, has tested a wide range of canned and wrapped processed meat products, available in the marketplace, and some instances of mislabeling have been confirmed. In addition to sheep, goats, calf, chicken, and turkey, the BRC is also capable of detecting the presence of pork, donkey and dog meat.
The BRC provides discrete biotechnology services for responsible partnership with both the regulatory public sector, as well as private sector companies concerned with self-regulation and quality assurance.
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Radio Raya FM: Live telephone interview with the BRC’s director, Dr Yaqoub Ashhab
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