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Development of a semi-quantitative Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for offal in meat - FA0106

The meat labelling regulations define ‘meat’ as skeletal muscle, and offal ingredients used in meat products need to be labelled separately, such as liver, kidney, lungs or heart. There is therefore a need for a method to detect offal in meat products.

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) previously identified protein markers specific for four offal tissue types in three different species (cow, pig and sheep), under project Q01105 funded by the Food Standards Agency. The method uses western blotting and mass spectrometry to detect, speciate and quantify offal from different species in meat.

The aim of the project is to transfer this method to a more suitable platform for use by food control laboratories (FCLs), using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The ELISA will use the marker proteins and antibodies identified during project Q01105, for the detection of heart and lung in cooked and raw meat samples. The assay developed will be semi-quantitative, and tested with commercial processed samples.

The outcome of the project will be a simple and robust method to detect and quantify the level of offal in meat products, which can be used by FCLs to enforce the meat labelling regulations.
Objective 1. Desk based review of (a) commercially available antibodies for the detection and quantification of the offal marker proteins and (b) facilities commonly available in Public Analyst laboratories.

Objective 2. Analysis of the specificity of commercially available antibodies for heart and lung marker proteins.

Objective 3. Establishing ELISA(s) suitable for the detection of offal by Public Analysts.

Objective 4. Testing the ELISA(s) for analysis of a small number of commercial products.

Objective 5. Production of SOP(s) and final report.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Transfer of offal detection assay to an ELISA platform   (2175k)
• ANX - Annex : FA0106 Appendices   (241k)
• TRP - Technical Report : Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)   (146k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2012

Cost: £131,030
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Nottingham Trent University
Food and Drink