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[2019/01/30] Institute of Food Safety is using Innovative Technology to Determine the Authenticity of Frozen Fish Products

Institute of Food Safety and Taipei City Government Department of Health will cooperate to assess the authenticity of frozen fish products that are on the market.


To ensure the safety of our food, National Yang-Ming University Institute of Food Safety and Health Risk Assessment will cooperate with Taipei City Government Department of Health and use innovative technology to determine the authenticity of the frozen fish products sold by Sushi restaurants and various chain supermarkets.

A food product and safety management law was passed by Taiwan in 2014. In the past, people sold catfish as cod in order to increase profits because the former is a cheaper type of fish. This deception was possible because it is very difficult for ordinary people to differentiate these two fish. However, such a scam is both unfair to customers and often can pose a food safety problem. Professor Liu and Associate Professor Liang, both from the Institute of Food Safety at Yang-Ming are cooperating with the Taipei City Government in this area. Using specialized mini-DNA barcode technology, they are targeting tuna, cod, salmon, snapper, and flounder (fish that are favorite purchases in Taiwan) to confirm the authenticity of these foods and this will also pinpoint any cases of false advertising. The mini-DNA barcode DNA sequence comparison technique is able to overcome the problem of DNA fragmentation during seafood processing, as well as the previously difficult problem of only being able to detect one species of fish at a time.

Furthermore, in terms of helping to accelerate detection in the area of food safety, Professor Yang is also at present developing a faster method of detecting sixteen different polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that may be present in foodstuffs. This technology is capable of simultaneously detect these sixteen PAHs in only 18 minutes, which is the fastest test method available at the moment. This approach will help to increase the overall speed of food safety testing in Taiwan.