Synthetic DNA to certify extra virgin olive oil

Genetic food labelsA group of Swiss researchers has developed a new synthetic genetic marker to identify extra virgin olive oil and prevent fraud. Synthetic DNA can be introduced into a whole production at a very economic cost of around 0,014 euros per liter

A group of researchers from the ETH Zurich (Federal Institute of Technology) of Switzerland, wants to end the fraud of high-end olive oil, for this they work in a type of Synthetic DNA to certify extra virgin olive oil. It is an "invisible tag" made up of magnetic DNA nanoparticles that are placed in a protective silica capsule and mixed with the oil. Iron oxide nanoparticles would also be added to serve to recover the synthetic DNA.
A few grams of this new compound would be enough to identify all the production of extra virgin olive oil from Italy, los investigadores aseguran que con este work los fraudes tendrían sus días contados. Una vez envasado y distribuido el extra virgin olive oil validar su origen sería sencillo, se podría utilizar un work que trabajara con un imán, aquí es donde entra en acción el óxido de hierro, con este elemento se asegura la recogida del work de control y validación (Synthetic DNA).

Once the sample is collected, it is only necessary to release the DNA from its coating using a fluoride-based solution, then a Insights by means of the polymerase chain reaction or PCR, a molecular biology technique with which copies of DNA fragments are obtained. They are subsequently amplified to make identification much easier. If the synthetic genetic code of the sample corresponds to the code that was recorded when the synthetic DNA was added in the manufacturer's production, the oil will be validated and its origin and quality certificate.
Swiss researchers explain that those who wanted to falsify this technique would find it very difficult to create DNA that had the same code. Of course, they could also carry out another type of fraud, mixing extra virgin olive oil with the genetic code, with another, lower-quality and cheaper olive oil. In this case the concentration comes into play, that is, there is a certain number of particles of synthetic DNA registered according to the volume of oil, a mixture would alter these values ​​and it could be identified that it is a fraud.
Los expertos aseguran que estos elementos no modifican ni el aspecto ni el sabor del aceite, también aseguran que son totalmente inocuos para el organismo humano. Se utiliza sílice y óxido de hierro, elementos que están presentes en otros alimentos que consumimos habitualmente. Con respecto al ADN, de momento es sintético y se asegura que es inocuo, pero para evitar suspicacias se baraja la posibilidad de mejorar el work utilizando ADN natural obtenido de alimentos como las verduras o las frutas. Con respecto a los costes del sistema, los investigadores explican que supondría un gasto extra de 0’02 centavos de dólar (0,014 euros) por litro de aceite, un coste muy bajo. Parece ser que el nuevo marcador genético permanece estable en condiciones de calor o envejecimiento (almacenamiento del aceite), por lo que resulta más sencillo realizar el seguimiento y validación del producto.
Expanding the market, experts consider that this system could be used in other types of food and beverages, at the moment it has already been tested with an essential oil of bergamot, an oil that is extracted from the peel of a type of citrus fruit that is usually use as a flavoring in confectionery products, beverages, etc. Swiss experts are determined to end fraud, with the genetic label adulterations could be numbered. You can learn more details of the research carried out at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology through this article, to know all the details of the study, you can access the scientific journal ASC Nano.
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