Gelatine is widely used in food and pharmaceuticals, manufactured from predominantly pig and cow, but also from poultry and fish tissue. Gelatine is a protein derived from collagen and is found in a wide variety of foods including confectioneries (gums, chewable sweets, nougat, liquorice, chewing gum, marshmallows), desserts, yogurts, icing, hams, corned beef, canned meats, injection powders/binding agents and stock cubes. It is often added to food products to bind foods, add elasticity or to add texture. Gelatine is manufactured from skin and bone material, mainly from pig, cow and fish carcasses but also potentially from any mammalian or bird species.
Many consumers choose to avoid the consumption of porcine and bovine material, including vegetarians and those of religious faiths which prohibit the consumption of certain species. Gelatine is a highly processed product and as such, traditional speciation techniques such as DNA technologies may not be suitable since much of the DNA is denatured during processing. Fera has developed a High Resolution LC-MS/MS technique which can be used to determine whether a food product or ingredient contains ruminant or pork gelatine to a known detection level. We then use a proprietary database of collagen amino acid sequences from a wide range of animal species to analyse the data against and determine the species of origin of the tested gelatine
The ability to prove and safeguard ingredients in a fragmented and complex supply chain can be difficult. Combined with recent examples of food fraud and the infamous Horsemeat scandal in early 2013, public trust in the origins of food has been in decline. The correct identification of the animal of origin of animal products used in food, pharmaceuticals and animal feed is essential to ensure that these products meet legislative and labelling requirements.
The cost per sample is £329 + VAT and will be included with a quarterly batch programme.
Samples submitted as a batch of 8 samples can be submitted at any time.
Standard Turnaround Time
|20 working days|
LOD (limit of detection)
|0.05 - 0.5%|
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