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Test To Protect Food Chain From Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting development of the first test for instantly detecting beef that has been contaminated with tissue from a cow's brain or spinal cord during slaughter -- an advance in protecting against possible spread of the human form of Mad Cow Disease. 

Scientists are reporting development of the first test for instantly detecting beef that has been contaminated with tissue from a cow's brain or spinal cord during slaughter — an advance in protecting against possible spread of the human form of Mad Cow Disease. 

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Jόrgen A. Richt and colleagues point out that removal of brain, spinal and other central nervous tissue after slaughter is "one of the highest priority tasks to avoid contamination of the human food chain with bovine spongiform encephalopathy," better known as Mad Cow Disease. "No currently available method enables the real-time detection of possible central nervous system (CNS) tissue contamination on carcasses during slaughter," the report states.

They describe a test based on detection of the fluorescent pigment lipofuscin, a substance that appears in high concentrations in the nervous tissue of cattle. The researchers found that it was a dependable indicator for the presence of brain and spinal tissue in bovine carcasses and meat cuts.

"Small quantities of bovine spinal cord were reliably detected in the presence of raw bovine skeletal muscle, fat and vertebrae. The research lays the foundation for development of a prototype device allowing real-time monitoring of CNS tissue contamination on bovine carcasses and meat cuts," the report says.

It was done with colleagues from the National Animal Disease Center of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and Iowa State University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scho%u0308nenbru%u0308cher et al. Fluorescence-Based Method, Exploiting Lipofuscin, for Real-Time Detection of Central Nervous System Tissues on Bovine Carcasses. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2008; 56 (15): 6220 DOI: 10.1021/jf0734368

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Test To Protect Food Chain From Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811094749.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, August 12). Test To Protect Food Chain From Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811094749.htm
American Chemical Society. "Test To Protect Food Chain From Human Form Of Mad Cow Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811094749.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

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