Meat Testing

By: Heryani

The Manager of Laboratory Technical, LPPOM MUI

Meat is a product that has quite a lot of halal critical points. Starting from the method of slaughtering to counterfeiting and mixing beef with pork. As a result, happening in May 2020, the Bandung Police managed to secure a food adulturation who had distributed 63 tons of fake meat in one year.

Generally, the type of pig used for consumption is farmed pig (Sus scrofa domesticus). Wild boar meat (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) is used to create fake meat instead of pig since wild boar meat is pink and it is the same color as beef

In addition, wild boar, which is considered a pest on plantation field, is used by the perpetrators to be sold and faked as beef. The disclosure of this forgery cannot be separated from the role of the laboratory in detecting meat samples from inspection results.

Several tests can be carried out to identify whether the meat sample comes from a bovine or pork species. Pigs and wild boars are still in the same family Suidae, thus in determining laboratory testing, it is necessary to ensure that the markers used in the identification include pigs and wild boars.

Species identification testing in meat samples can be carried out using a protein-based approach (using ELISA and rapid tests), DNA (using real-time PCR), fat (using FTIR), peptides (using LC-MS / MS), volatile compounds (using GC -MS), as well as smells and smells (using an electronic nose). In this paper, we will discuss methods commonly used by laboratories, such as rapid tests and PCR.

Rapid Test

Rapid test or also known as Pork Detection Kit is an immunochromatographic test strip that is used for rapid detection of the target pig antigen test (pig-specific protein). Several pig-specific protein markers have been used in this method, one of which is Porcine Heat Resistant Glycoprotein. 

The method works by placing the meat in a sample container filled with warm water then shaken and put in the test strip. The results are also easily known, much like the rapid test for pregnancy tests, a positive result is indicated by two red lines. 

This method takes a fast test time of 10 to 25 minutes. Thus, it is widely used for the process screening and market testing. On the other hand, the weakness of this method is limited to testing meat-based ingredients and cannot be used to detect derivative products such as gelatin, collagen, spices, capsule shells, and so on.

Real-time PCR

Real Time PCR Method (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is a sample testing method by synthesizing and amplifying target DNA traces in the sample by invitro. This method has 3 main stages, DNA extraction, reading the concentration and purity of DNA and DNA amplification on real-time PCR machine.

Real-time PCR is known to have the advantages of high specificity and sensitivity. So that it can be used to identify the presence of DNA from certain species, including pigs. Not only that, real-time PCR can also identify other sample matrices that still have DNA residues, such as gelatin, capsule shells, marshmallows, and others.

However, the weakness of this method is that the testing costs are expensive and requires special expertise in the molecular field and is carried out in a laboratory that meets molecular testing standards. The testing time also depends on the complexity of the sample in the extraction process. The sample extraction process takes 3-4 hours, while the PCR process ranges from 1-1.5 hours. (***)

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