Assessment of protein fingerprinting method for species verification of meats
This study was conducted to evaluate and implement the use of a protein fingerprinting method for species verification of meats. This was achieved by generating protein patterns of various species of raw, cooked and processed meats using the isoelectric focusing (IEF) technique. Protein patterns of various domestic and wild animals as well as cooked and processed meat products showed that each protein pattern appeared on the gel as a series of distinct bands that is unique to each individual animal species. Tests on reproducibility of protein fingerprints of raw and cooked meat species proved that the IEF technique is reproducible and certain types of characteristic meat species bands of the proteins can be used for meat species identification. Protein patterns of different anatomical sites of pork, beef and chicken showed identical profiles for each of the three meat species. Samples of meat from organs such as heart, liver and kidney produced different protein patterns than those obtained for pork, beef and chicken muscles. Freezing the meat for 10 months does not have an effect on protein fingerprints. The levels of adulterated meat samples were estimated by visual examination with the detection limit of 1%. Also, the AlfaImaging System was used in this study. This system proved to be a very useful tool for protein quantification.