Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Hallen-Adams HE (2015) Food fish identification from DNA extraction through sequence analysis. Journal of Food Science Education 14:116-120. doi: 10.1111/1541-4329.12063


Copyright © 2015 Institute of Food Technologists®. Published by John Wiley & Sons Co. Used by permission.


This experiment exposed third and fourth year undergraduates and graduate students taking a course in advanced food analysis to DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and DNA sequence analysis. Students provided their own fish sample, purchased from local grocery stores, and the class as a whole extracted DNA, which was then subjected to PCR, gel electrophoresis and Sanger sequencing. Students retrieved their sequences and identified their fish using the NCBI BLAST nucleotide database. Slightly more than half of the samples yielded sequences identical or close to expected (based on the identification of the fish on the packaging); some other samples matched unanticipated fish or other organisms, due to an incomplete database, minor sequencing errors, or laboratory contamination (human and fungal sequences); one canned tuna sample identified as hake could represent food fraud.