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Animal feed certification instrument and procedure to guarantee the quality of meat and dairy products through automatic, simple and rapid DNA barcode method based on tubulin-based polymorphism (TBP) (FEED-CODE)
Start date: Dec 1, 2012, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The EU integrated approach to food safety needs effective control systems to assure safety and quality standards all along the food chain, including animal feed. This is not always straightforward, since several actors are involved in the chain, in some cases not from EU. Following regulation EC 767/2009, which has defined new “rules on the placing on the market and use of animal feed, including requirements for labelling, packaging and presentation”, a reliable and simple technical solution to measure the exact composition of compound feed for food animal is required by farmers to assure the quality of the final product (meat, milk or PDO cheese) and to certify compound feed sold, even in the form of bulk and within the same area. Presently existing analytical methods are sophisticated and not accessible to SME and small regional producers.The FEED-CODE project aims to develop a reliable, simple and cheap methodology and instrument for the fingerprinting of each individual plant species used in compound feed, through the tubulin-based polymorphism (TBP) method, which, in contrast to other PCR-based methods, does not require detailed knowledge of DNA sequences, but identifies the specie through a simple DNA barcode. This allows to quantify the presence of each individual components in complex mixtures, even in case of very small amounts (detection limit <1% weight).The tangible outcomes of FEED-CODE will be: 1. Specific probes for the identification of 30 plant species of European Catalogue of feed materials; 2. Easy to use and automatic FEED-CODE instrument for reliable and precise detection of plant species in compound mixes; 3. New standard procedure for labeling animal feed, in compliance with EC regulation and with the needs for quality and anti-fraud certification of farmers and PDO producers.The consortium has a consistent and widespread representation of the sector, guaranteeing direct audience of more than 2 million farmers in Europe.
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