Investigation of meat species adulteration in beef-based meat products via real-time PCR in Türkiye

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Hayrunnisa Özlü
Burak Çevik
Mustafa Atasever
Muhammet Furkan Sarıalioğlu
Betül Alkan Polat


adulteration, meat species, mislabeling, real-time PCR


The addition of poultry and other meats to products made from 100% beef is prohibited in Türkiye. In addition, in Türkiye, where the majority of the population is Muslim, the use of pork and single-hoofed meat is a matter of concern due to religious reasons. This study utilized a sensitive and specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method to identify the different meat species in meat products marketed as 100% beef and sold in the eastern Türkiye provinces of Erzurum, Erzincan, Kars, Ağrı, and Bingöl. The real-time PCR method was used to investigate the presence of DNA specific to six animal species (chicken, turkey, pork, horse, donkey, and camel). The analysis revealed no traces of horse, donkey, camel, or pork meat in any of the 100 samples of Turkish fermented sausage (sucuk), salami, and sausage. Contrary to the product labels claiming 100% beef content, poultry DNA residues were identified in a salami sample from Erzincan, while turkey DNA residues were found in sucuk samples from both Ağrı and Kars. The study’s findings reveal that contrary to label information, various types of meat can be present in meat products sold by both trademarked and local butchers. Consequently, this paper emphasizes the need for routine checks on market-sold products to ensure they comply with legislation and avoid consumer deception. Furthermore, the Real-Time PCR method, with its rapid results and high sensitivity, is deemed beneficial for food safety, consumer rights, and the prevention of unfair competition.

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