This study describes a method for quantitative and species-specific detection of animal DNA from different species (cattle, sheep, goat, swine, and chicken) in animal feed and feed ingredients, including fish meals. A quantitative real-time PCR approach was carried out to characterize species-specific sequences based on the amplification of prion-protein sequence. Prion-protein species-specific primers and TaqMan probes were designed, and amplification protocols were optimized in order to discriminate the different species with short PCR amplicons. The real-time quantitative PCR approach was also compared to conventional species-specific PCR assays. The real-time quantitative assay allowed the detection of 10 pg of ruminant, swine, and poultry DNA extracted from meat samples processed at 130°C for 40 min, 200 kPa. The origin of analyzed animal meals was characterized by the quantitative estimation of ruminant, swine, and poultry DNA. The TaqMan assay was used to quantify ruminant DNA in feedstuffs with 0.1% of meat and bone meal. In conclusion, the proposed molecular approach allowed the detection of species-specific DNA in animal meals and feedstuffs.

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