A method is presented for the quantification of haddock in complex food matrices based on real-time PCR. The proportion of haddock muscle tissue to the numbers of a single copy gene has been shown to remain relatively constant, throughout the year and across a number of fishing grounds, using conventional muscle nitrogen content as a comparator. This indicates that quantification of fish, based upon nitrogen content or the numbers of a single copy gene, would return data with a similar degree of accuracy. Thus, a haddock-specific, real-time PCR primer and probe set was designed and optimised, and when used in conjunction with a haddock calibration curve was shown to be able to quantify model samples to within 7% of the true percentage. This is the first report of a real-time assay for the quantification of white fish, which would allow enforcement of the legislation in a complex food matrix containing haddock with other fish species.
- real-time polymerase chain reaction
- nitrogen content
- single copy gene