Olive & Oil 05/05/2014

Artificial DNA to protect against frauds in the extra virgin sector?

While traceability through isotope analysis seems to be going fast towards the formalization, another proposal to defend the olive oil: insert DNA nanoparticles in the bottle. The cost? 0.02 cents per liter

The researchers are working on several fronts.

For the University of Zurich would be the solution in the DNA, but in the artificial one. The genetic combinations are endless and each DNA could potentially be associated even to the individual producer, becoming "a brand that can not be removed" as reported by Robert Grass , a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurch.
ETH researchers have used the nanotecnology, a part of genetic material is the heart of artificial micro-label , with a detection limit of extremely low, so small amounts are sufficient for such a revolutionary labeling. But researchers have gone further, using a silica coating to protect the DNA, a physical barrier against chemical attacks that completely isolates the external environment , mimicking the natural fossil. Grass is then working to magnetization, by iron oxides, of these particles so as to be quickly and easily .

The laboratory experiments have shown that these "small labels" are dispersed well in the oil without causing any visual change, remaining stable to heat and not by altering the aging process induced. The DNA , which is the label of the future according Grass, is recoverable with a solution of fluoride and analyzed by PCR, a standard method that can be performed by any medical laboratory with minimal expense.

The production cost of this label should be about 0.02 cents per liter.

di Graziano Alderighi