Caister Academic Press

Standardization of Real-time PCR Methods in Food Microbiology

Kornelia Berghof-Jäger
from: Polymerase Chain Reaction: Theory and Technology (Author: Mark A. Behlke, Kornelia Berghof-Jäger, Tom Brown, et al.). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2019) Pages: 187-198.


International law requires that only food suitable for consumption may reach the market. To meet this demand, thorough microbiological testing must be performed on raw materials, the manufacturing process and finished products. Real-time PCR methods are particularly well-suited for this testing as they are fast, precise and very specific. Multiple methods, including real-time PCR, exist for testing the same analyte. These are favored according to regional preferences and regulatory requirements. However, global trade could be simplified if there was an international consensus on a set of analytical standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the European Organization for Standardization (CEN) are platforms for generating standards through open, balanced and consensus-driven processes. To avoid duplication of work and structures, an agreement on technical co-operation between ISO and CEN (Vienna Agreement) was approved in 1991. This allows for focused expertise to be used efficiently to benefit international standardization. Currently, a few general Standards exist which describe the basic requirements of PCR methods. General standardization documents focusing on performance characteristics as well as basic requirements and definitions of real-time PCR are in development. Standards for specific detection of the food-borne pathogens Clostridium botulinum, Yersinia, STEC, Vibrio and viruses are also in progress. In parallel, standardization of real-time PCR-based methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and allergens in food are ongoing read more ...
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