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DNA-based authenticity and traceability of extra virgin olive oil

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOGR20200326001
Publicado:
30/03/2020
Caducidad:
31/03/2021
Resumen:
A Greek SME providing bioinformatics solutions presents an innovative DNA-based traceability and authenticity analysis of extra virgin olive oil. The analysis allows the identification of the country of origin and the varieties of trees inside the olive oil. Industrial companies are sought for commercial agreement with technical assistance. Also partners for research cooperation, to co-develop field-to-store DNA tests for a variety of botanical materials, are sought.

Details

Tittle:
DNA-based authenticity and traceability of extra virgin olive oil
Summary:
A Greek SME providing bioinformatics solutions presents an innovative DNA-based traceability and authenticity analysis of extra virgin olive oil. The analysis allows the identification of the country of origin and the varieties of trees inside the olive oil. Industrial companies are sought for commercial agreement with technical assistance. Also partners for research cooperation, to co-develop field-to-store DNA tests for a variety of botanical materials, are sought.
Description:
The beneficial effects of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) on human health and its increasing applications in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, led to an increase of fraudulent actions along the value chain for illegitimate profit. According to recent studies, fraud affects consumer willingness to pay for an EVOO, reducing its valuation from 10 to 50%, affecting more high-priced EVOO than low-priced one. Thus, olive oil industry demands accurate solutions to EVOO traceability in order to protect its value and health.

Existing technologies focused on EVOO authenticity and traceability is based on analytical approaches. These techniques, despite their important role in olive oil industry, cannot solve important issues such as the identification of olive oil cultivars and high accuracy of origin. Additional reasons that affect the performance of these technologies are the overlapping standards among different regulatory bodies (e.g. International Olive Council (IOC) of the European Commission), and the diverse environmental conditions in which olive trees are annually exposed representing an additional obstacle in selecting the most adequate standard method. There are also other factors such as the type of equipment (e.g., gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry column and detector), or reagents (e.g high performance liquid chromatography gradients) reducing reproducibility of results.

For those reasons, a Greek SME company with significant research and scientific experience in the field of bioinformatics has developed a proprietary bioinformatics tool that identifies the genetic markers for any organism, allowing DNA authenticity and traceability of the botanical raw materials used in food or in natural cosmetics/pharmaceuticals products. This technology was first developed and applied to deliver sequences used as DNA tracers for a US based company.

The same technology was successfully extended to the olive genome leading to the identification of genetic markers capable to identify the majority of commercial olive varieties inside an EVOO.

This method allows retailers, suppliers and high-end companies to conduct a fast and accurate identification of the varieties inside an olive oil, assuring consumers that what is reported on the label corresponds to the content. In addition, it can be applied as optimal end-to-end DNA system to deliver complete supply chain transparency from field to store when EVOO is used as ingredient in a food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical product.

In the case of identification of the varieties inside an EVOO, the Greek company receives 3 samples of 100ml from the interested partner. Runs the DNA test and provides in few days the results to the client. In the second case, where EVOO is used as DNA trace system, the partnering company must provide details on the value chain. Subsequently, a tailor-made DNA system is designed and implemented to create an end-to-end traceability solution.

The Greek company is already engaged in trans-national cooperation with private companies within and abroad EU. Also, they participate in several competitive EU projects while recently they were selected to receive funding under Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1.

Currently, they are interested to expand their technology and find new industrial partners to cooperate with such as large olive oil manufactures or retailers (food chains), cosmetics and pharmaceuticals companies. The desired types of cooperation are research cooperation agreement and commercial agreement with technical assistance.
Advantages and Innovations:
The implementation of high-throughput sequencing technologies has transformed DNA into an accessible source of information, and bioinformatics into a science capable to turn DNA data into meaningful biological knowledge, including the identification of potential genetic markers. The latter, reflect the genetic differences among different species, and have a significant impact in food authenticity. The major advantage of DNA based solutions is the accuracy and consistency of results and mostly the consumer perception of DNA.

More specifically, the proposed technology enables the fast and affordable DNA-based analysis, allowing the identification of the country of origin, the variety inside an olive oil, covering the authenticity/traceability needs of all stakeholders across the supply chain.

In addition, this end-to-end supply chain transparency from field to store, offers to a company protection from fraudulent actions and the ramifications can range from reputation damage to brand, to revenue for food retail businesses and processing establishments, to health complications for the consumer.

Lastly, DNA verified and traceable EVOO adds value to a company delivering a differentiated product in competitive markets and restoring consumer´s trust to the label. The latter can lead to increased sales and higher valuation of the product.
Stage of Development:
Already on the market
IPs:
Secret Know-how,Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Other

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The Greek company is interested to conclude commercial agreement with technical assistance. They are looking for olive oil manufactures or retailers, including supermarket chains, willing to apply EVOO DNA authenticity in high-end labels or private label products, respectively. In addition, cosmetics companies to assess the genetic ID of the EVOO they use as ingredient.

Furthermore, the Greek company is looking for food or cosmetics/pharmaceuticals companies to co-develop field-to-store DNA traceable products using EVOO or other botanical materials as main ingredient under the context of research cooperation agreement.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
Industry SME <= 10
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
Greek
Italian

Dissemination

Restrict dissemination to specific countries:
China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
06003001 Bioinformática