The development of intensive production methods and the increase in fish consumption require efficient traceability methods. This approach, which allows to improve the biosecurity of products and farms, has become necessary for aquaculture but also for the marketing of animals and to ensure the follow-up of derived food products.

Indeed, some investigations conducted by the French organization called DGCCRF (Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes) regularly demonstrate “species substitutions” and reveal some non-compliances, such as swordfish Xiphias gladius presented as tuna loin, Thunnus obesus, yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares corresponding to the species Thunnus obesus or cod Gadus morhua corresponding to Gadus macrocephalus species.

Intentional fraud in the labeling of seafood products is thus common. Some of them have been the subject of scientific publications in Spain, the USA and can undermine the objective of sustainable production and consumption of seafood, especially of certain species highly valued in Europe and produced in Africa.

Swordfish genetic traceability sought

Thus, at the request of an agri-food industrialist which wished to verify that the fish samples corresponded to the species indicated, DIAG4ZOO developed an identification and traceability method for swordfish (Xiphias gladius).

Using its genomic databases and tools, the company’s scientists have identified two specific regions of the swordfish genome, and have been able to design a technique to identify swordfish and ensure its genetic traceability.

The methodology used is based on the principle of DNA Barcoding (developed by Hebert et al., 2009) and is the reference method for species identification.

In general, the use of genetic traceability methods to identify certain species may be essential to food industry and distribution professionals in order to be able to carry out routine or unannounced controls of the quality of purchased products.

Thus, these approaches are a relevant solution in the case of fairness controls and documentary verifications carried out by the DGCCRF checks on product labels (fairness checks), documentary checks and commercial practices carried out.

Thanks to DIAG4ZOO’s technical skills and know-how in the rapid development of new genetic traceability methods, professionals benefit from an expert partner to validate their labels and ensure the traceability of products delivered by their suppliers.