PCR test for food testing – Real time pathogen detection for food product

PCR Test for Food Testing

PCR test for food testing – Are you a food exporter? If you are, there are several problems that you should pay attention to as those problems could hinder your export activity. In the food industry, it is quite easy for foods to be contaminated with dangerous pathogenic bacteria. Before exporting food to the destination country, you must do laboratory testing for your food product. Because of the existing food poisoning cases, many countries are creating regulations for food importers to follow. These regulations would become guidelines for the importers to monitor the food safety or quality of the foods they import.

Food poisoning cases occur when human to consume food products that have been contaminated with pathogenic microbes, for example Salmonella spp. To anticipate these cases, it is necessary to do a rapid food testing. Meanwhile, the conventional method of microbiology incubation/testing takes more than 7 days. According to research of Dadang the conventional method has weaknesses and limitations, namely that it takes more than 7 days to complete. However, with the fast technology development in microbiology, Real Time PCR method has become a fast and specific alternative method in food testing. So, what is the Real Time PCR method?

Real Time PCR method 

PCR method is a molecular biology technique by multiplying DNA into millions of DNA copies. The PCR method is very capable in the analysis and diagnosis of diseases. The results of the PCR method for food testing can be seen in the presence of a specific band of DNA amplification results. Users can see it after the PCR process ends. Pathogen detection currently can be directly observed using Real-Time PCR. The Real-Time PCR method is a modification of the PCR method, where the amplification process can be observed in each cycle and the amplification results can be quantified.

How does a PCR machine work?

According to Lilit Garibyan, the following is how the PCR machine works: 

  1. PCR is a very sensitive technique that allows rapid amplification of a specific segment of DNA.
  2. PCR makes billions of copies of a specific DNA fragment or gene, which allows detection and identification of gene sequences using visual techniques based on size and charge.
  3. Modified versions of PCR have allowed quantitative measurements of gene expression with techniques called real-time PCR

PCR test for food testing

Below is how the PCR method works for food testing. This is how to detect pathogenic bacteria in food:

Pcr Test for food testing

Reasons for using the PCR for food testing

The conventional method of microbiological testing in food usually takes more than 7 days. Logically, more 7 days is quite a long time to detect pathogen in food product. But the Real Time PCR method is a fast and specific alternative method for detecting dangerous microbiological pathogens in food. The objective of food testing using the real time PCR method is to detect and measure pathogens rapidly and to be a role in helping food companies to improve the safety of their products. Why RT PCR is reliable method as it detects the bacteria’s DNA. So that it can meet the standard export requirements. 

Finally, we know that the PCR method can be used for food testing as well. The case of food poisoning is a matter of great concern. This makes importing countries are very concern about the food safety requirements, especially the pathogenic bacteria contamination. In order to minimize this cases & to make sure the food are free from contamination, it is better to use the more advanced testing method, that is the PCR method.

BASIL provides food testing using the PCR method and helps you to quickly test for pathogenic bacteria. You can see the testing procedure here