Institute of Food Research, NARO

Development of genetic testing technology to estimate the timing of foreign substance contamination in food

-Contract inspection service commenced by House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc.-

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in collaboration with House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc. has developed a new genetic testing technology to evaluate the thermal history of insects mixed in food. A contract inspection service using this inspection technology was started by House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc.on July 5th, 2022.


Overview

NARO has developed an analytical technique called the FRED method, which measures the degree of DNA degradation. NARO in collaboration with House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc. has clarified that the thermal history of insects mixed in food can be evaluated by the FRED method by utilizing the property that DNA is decomposed by heat.

When foreign substances such as pests are found in food, it may be necessary to evaluate the thermal history of foreign substance in order to clarify the stage (from manufacturing to consumption) at which the foreign substance was mixed. Based on the results obtained from this joint research, House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc. has started a contract inspection service for thermal history of cockroach, which is often reported to be mixed in food.

In order to evaluate the thermal history of insects, methods for measuring the action of enzymes contained in insect cells have been commonly used so far. But still there were some challenges like probability of misjudgment etc. By realizing a quantitative evaluation of the thermal history by genetic testing targeting only specific species, which has a different measurement principle from conventional methods, it is possible to perform tests with higher reliability than before.

By estimating the time when foreign substance is mixed based on the result of the contract inspection, it is possible for the food business operators to make appropriate decisions, such as dealing with consumers who find foreign substance and recalling products as per requirements. Also, by investigating the cause of foreign substance contamination, we can expect to improve the safety and reliability of food. Since there are some limitations on the analytical samples, it may not be possible to accept the contract depending on the project. Please contact House Food Analytical Laboratory Inc. for further details.


For Inquiries

Contact: https://www.naro.go.jp/english/inquiry/index.html

Centers・Institutes