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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: TRANSMISSION, DIFFERENTIATION, AND PATHOBIOLOGY OF TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES Title: A fluorescence based method, exploiting lipofuscin, for the real-time detection of central nervous system (CNS) tissues on bovine carcasses

Authors
item Schonenbrucher, Holger
item Adhikary, Ramkrishna - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Mukherjee, Prasun - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Casey, Thomas
item Rasmussen, Mark - SARTEC CORP, ANOKA, MN
item Maistrovich, Frank - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Hamir, Amirali
item Kehrli Jr, Marcus
item Richt, Juergen
item Petrich, Jacob - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 13, 2008
Publication Date: July 12, 2008
Repository URL: http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jafcau/asap/abs/jf0734368.html
Citation: Schonenbrucher, H., Adhikary, R., Mukherjee, P., Casey, T.A., Rasmussen, M.A., Maistrovich, F.D., Hamir, A.N., Kehrli, Jr., M.E., Richt, J.A., Petrich, J.W. 2008. Fluorescence-Based Method, Exploiting Lipofuscin, for Real-Time Detection of Central Nervous System Tissues on Bovine Carcasses. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56(15):6220-6226.

Interpretive Summary: The removal of Central Nervous System (CNS) tissues as part of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk material is one of the highest priority safeguards to avoid contamination of the human food chain with BSE. No currently available method enables the real-time detection of possible CNS tissue contamination on bovine carcasses during slaughter. Therefore, we developed a fluorescence spectroscopy method for the real-time detection of CNS tissues. Small quantities of bovine spinal cord were reliably detected in the presence of raw bovine skeletal muscle, fat, and vertebrae. The present study revealed the potential of fluorescent marker substances such as lipofuscin for the real-time detection of spinal cord on bovine carcasses and processed meat cuts including bone-in or boneless products. A benefit to the beef producing industry would be improved product quality assurance and increased consumer protection.

Technical Abstract: The removal of Central Nervous System (CNS) tissues as part of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) risk material is one of the highest priority tasks to avoid contamination of the human food chain with BSE. No currently available method enables the real-time detection of possible CNS tissue contamination on carcasses during slaughter. The fluorescent pigment lipofuscin is a heterogeneous, high-molecular weight material that has been shown to be enriched in high concentrations in neuronal tissues. In this study, lipofuscin fluorescence was investigated as a marker for real-time detection of CNS contamination. Front-faced fluorescence spectra of brain and spinal cord samples from 11 cattle gave identical, reproducible fluorescence signal patterns with high intensities. The specificity of these spectra was assessed investigating 13 different non-CNS tissues enabling the differentiation of brain and spinal cord by signal intensity and structure of the spectra, respectively. Small quantities of bovine spinal cord were reliably detected in the presence of raw bovine skeletal muscle, fat, and vertebrae. The presented data are the fundamental basis for the development of a prototype device allowing real-time monitoring of CNS tissue contamination on bovine carcasses and meat cuts.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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