Azti-Tecnalia, the technology centre specialising in marine and food research, has developed a new method to authenticate canned tuna, enabling detection in only 24 hours of whether the species is albacore, yellowfin, bigeye or some other tuna species. Until now, genetic methods to establish DNA identification took several days to provide conclusive results. This innovative methodology is of great interest to the canning industry and is a tool that can help to authenticate what is written on the label.
Changes in production processes have brought about a revolution in the canning industry, since canned products are today produced, in many cases, using imported frozen tuna fillets. These skinned fillets offer huge advantages in terms of process productivity and yield. Sometimes, however, in view of the difficulty in distinguishing between species visually, errors may occur in the labelling of canned products.
The DNA system for detecting different species of canned and processed tuna, developed by the Molecular Biology Laboratory at AZTI-Tecnalia, which enables differentiation between species even in processed foods, has been accredited by the National Accreditation Body (ENAC). In addition to speed, the Azti-Tecnalia method provides reliable, conclusive results. The new method is, therefore, a great opportunity to guarantee that products are labelled correctly and ensure quality for consumers.
Authentication methods for canned products are usually based on DNA fragment detection in any kind of processed fish sample, including canned fish. These so-called genetic methods are very reliable but the disadvantage is that in most cases it takes several days to obtain a conclusive result. The innovative AZTI-Tecnalia system, on the other hand, based on fluorescent probe detection, enables an accurate result to be obtained within 24 hours.