DNA barcoding as a tool for detecting mislabeling on incoming fishery products from third countries: An official survey conducted at the Border Inspection Post of Livorno-Pisa (Italy)

Date: April 28, 2017

Source: Science Direct
Author: L. Guardonea, 1L. Tinaccia, 1F. CostanzoaD. AzzarelliaP. D’AmicoaG. TassellibA. MagnibA. GuidiaD. NuceracA. Armania,

The importation of fishery products into the European Union (EU) is constantly rising. The aim of this study was to conduct a survey on labeling non-compliances on fishery products imported from non-EU/extra-European countries, in collaboration with the veterinary staff of the Italian Ministry of Health Border Inspection Post of Livorno-Pisa (BIP)- The correspondence between the products’ identity and the scientific denominations reported on the accompanying certificates was checked using the DNA barcoding method.

Overall, 277 products belonging to different categories (fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, bivalves, amphibian) were submitted to analysis for species identification. The comparison of the molecular results with the scientific names declared on accompanying documents highlighted that 22.5% (95%CI 17.8–28.0) of the analyzed products were mislabeled. The highest percentage was observed on cephalopod based products (43.8%, 95% CI 32.3–55.9), followed by crustaceans (17.0%, 95% CI 9.2–29.2) and fish (14.0%, 95% CI 8.7–21.9). A higher rate of mislabeling was found in products imported from China, Vietnam and Thailand. This study is the first survey on mislabeling in products sampled at BIPs in Italy. The results highlight the need of implementing analytical checks, based on DNA analysis, on incoming fishery products.

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