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Detection of genetically modified organisms in foods by protein- and DNA-based techniques : bridging the methods

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Author: Duijn, G. van · Biert, R. van · Bleeker-Marcelis, H. · Boeijen, I. van · Adan, A.J. · Jhakrie, S. · Hessing, M.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:Journal of AOAC International, 3, 85, 787-791
Identifier: 57475
Keywords: Nutrition · DNA, Plant · Food Analysis · Food, Genetically Modified · Plant Proteins · Plants, Genetically Modified · Polymerase Chain Reaction


According to European Commission (EC) Regulation 1139/98, foods and food ingredients that are to be delivered to the final consumer in which either protein or DNA resulting from genetic modification is present, shall be subject to additional specific labeling requirements. Since 1994, genetically altered tomatoes, squash, potatoes, canola, cotton, and soy have been on the market. Recently, insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant maize varieties have been introduced. Soy and maize are 2 of the most important vegetable crops in the world. During the past 4 years, both protein-and DNA-based methods have been developed and applied for detection of transgenic soy and maize, and their derivatives. For protein-based detection, specific monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies have been developed; for immunochemical detection, Western blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays are the most prominent examples. For detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at the level of DNA, polymerase chain reaction-based methods are mainly used. For these reactions, highly specific primer sets are needed. This study compares the principally different methods. Specificity of methods and the possible risks of false-positive or false-negative results are considered in relation to sampling, matrix effects, and food processing procedures. In addition, quantitative aspects of protein-and DNA-based GM detection methods are presented and discussed. This is especially relevant as EC regulation 49/2000, which defines a threshold for an unintentional comingling of 1%, came into force on April 10, 2000. Chemicals/CAS: DNA, Plant; Plant Proteins