Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Technique to Detect Sheep Meat Adulteration

Raghdaa Aslan(1) Naiem Al Hussein(2) Fateh Khatib(3) Mustafa Asaeed(4) and Asmaa Maaz*(1)

(1). Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Faculty of Technical Engineering, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

(2). Aleppo Research Center, General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research (GCSAR), Damascus, Syria.

(3). Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria.

(4). Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Technical Engineering, Aleppo University, Aleppo, Syria. (*Corresponding author: Asmaa Maaz. E-Mail:

Received: 16/09/2017                                Accepted: 24/10/2017


Consumers, especially in poor countries, suffer from many kinds of meat adulteration by substituting cheaper and less nutritious meat with costly ones. Traditional morphological analysis or others based on component analysis are usually applied to identify undeclared meats, but these methods often produce incorrect or unreliable results, Therefore, finding more precise and reliable methods is critical in food authentication. DNA-based techniques have been widely used in this field due to their sensitivity, speed and high accuracy. In this study, species- specific PCR technique was employed to analysis 18 sheep meat samples to detect substitutions with beef, goat, chicken, turkey or pork meat. The detection process was based on specific primers targeting cytochrome b coding gene. The results showed that all samples were mixed with one or more types of meat. The expected fragment of DNA was obtained from each pair of other used primers. Cheating with goat meat was the most frequent among samples with a ratio of 94.44%. while the lowest frequent was with turkey 16.66%, and finally, adulteration with pork meat was not recorded in any sample.

Key Words: Species specific PCR, Meat adulteration, Cytochrome b gene.

Full paper in Arabic: PDF