After the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis emerged in 1985/1986, all processed animal proteins (PAPs) were finally banned for use in animal feed in the European Union. To partially lift this feed ban, paths for re-introduction of PAPs from species other than ruminants e.g. pig and poultry, are described in the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) Roadmap 2. Cannibalism, however, is still not allowed. Specific detection methods for pig and poultry meal and PAPs are prerequisites for reintroduction of pig and poultry processed animal proteins into animal feed. Developing a sensitive PCR method that specifically detects the taxonomically diverse and therefore artificial group ‘poultry’ and that does not detect other birds at the same time is a challenge. Here, a novel TaqMan PCR method for poultry detection is presented. The specificity of the poultry method against target and non-target species has been extensively investigated. The efficiency, linearity and sensitivity was tested using dilution series of chicken, turkey, duck and goose DNA isolated from meat and autoclaved meat as a model system for PAPs.
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