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Title: Microarrays and Monoclonal Antibodies for a High-throughput Food Authentication Process
Authors: Smith, Abigail
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Population increase, climate change, greed. These are just some of the major factors that pose a continuing threat to food safety and sustainability. Food safety allows consumers to feel secure in the product chosen for consumption. Food fraud is one issue that threatens this. An age-old problem, food fraud is the act of intentionally deceiving a customer about aspects of the product including origin, ingredients, or quality: mostly an economically motivated act. In some cases, food fraud can have widespread effects, proving fatal at times. As a consequence, food authentication techniques have been developed to combat fraud. Authentication allows for verification that the product is what it claims. It is important that food safety is maintained, authentication processes are constantly evolving in line with developing fraud techniques. Current techniques used in the food industry include, amongst others, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), DNA profiling, and microscopy. This project focuses on how high-throughput microarray technology and molecular probes, specifically monoclonal antibodies, can be used in food authentication. Three products were tested, including whole grains, saffron and gluten. For whole grains and saffron, polysaccharide profiles were used to measure authenticity. The focus for whole grains was to develop a method that would distinguish the proportion of whole grains within a product and fraction by investigating its polysaccharide profile. For saffron, a polysaccharide profile was created using reference samples and compared against other market samples to see if it would be an appropriate technique, and how profiles could differ. For the gluten experiment, gliadin, a protein within gluten, was chosen as the target. The purpose of this was to develop a high-throughput method allowing for allergen detection in food products. Here it could be successful in identifying gliadin within food products in case of wheat allergies or even the autoimmune condition, celiac disease, whereby gluten would be a tell-tale sign of cross contamination. These experiments highlight how microarray technology coupled with molecular probing could be used as a high-throughput food authentication technique.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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