With the ever-decreasing domestic fishery catch of Japanese mackerel Scomber japonicus, alternative Atlantic mackerel Scomber scombrus has been increasingly imported and currently accounts for approximately 34% of mackerel consumption in Japan. As there is no morphologic difference between the species after removal of their skin, not only fresh and frozen fillets but also processed seafood of S. scombrus are frequently marketed with mislabeling as S. japonicus. In this study, a rapid and reliable polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis was developed to discriminate imported mackerel S. scombrus and domestic mackerel S. japonicus. PCR amplification for the nuclear 5S ribosomal DNA nontranscribed spacer was performed using Scomber-specific primers. Direct digestions of the PCR products using either PvuII or HaeIII restriction enzymes generated species-specific profiles, indicating that both enzymes enable the accurate identification of S. scombrus and S. japonicus. This robust and reproducible method can serve as molecular-based routine food inspection program to enforce labeling regulations.
Marine Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 4, 2005
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