Technology to differentiate between beef, buffalo meat

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2015 18:25 IST

An innovative technology developed by the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) here may soon become hot favourite for the states keen to implement beef ban strictly.

Experts at the NBAGR, managed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR of the central government, said that polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technology could easily differentiate between beef and buffalo meat.

Arjava Sharma, director, NBAGR, told Hindustan Times here on Tuesday that the scientific tests had proved complete accuracy in its mandate and the international patent registration process was underway.
"Once it is patented, the technology may play an important scientific evidence to ascertain if there is any cow flesh in what is being claimed as buffalo meat," said Sharma.

He said that it was often alleged that cow meat was consumed under the garb of buffalo flesh.
As cow slaughtering is completely banned under the Indian constitution, the NBAGR's low-cost technology could be adopted easily.

"To rule out the misuse of animal slaughtering rules, our scientists had worked intensively and developed this innovative technology in 2013. As the institute wanted to patent for its further commercial use through technology transfer, its use was restricted to rigorous laboratory testing," said Sharma.

Though the NBAGR authorities were reluctant to share more information till the technology was patented, the director said that the Indian version was foolproof and highly economical.
Sharma said that scientists abroad had developed similar differentiators, but the highly complicated technology was very expensive.

"Our technology is simple, highly economical and time- saving. It is capable of giving laboratory results within four hours. We expect the patent exercise to be completed in next six months and the technology will be fully ready for its operation," said RS Kataria, animal biotechnologist of NBAGR and the brain behind the technology.


Sharma said the same technology was capable in differentiating between cow and buffalo milk.
He said that it was a common practice that buffalo milk is mixed with cow milk to enhance profitability of dairy farmers, but the consumer was kept in dark about the proportion of the two milks in the product.

"The methodology may be useful in standardising milk quality as the technology can give the exact ratio of cow-buffalo milk ratio," he said.


Sharma said that PCR-based differentiator is a technology used to amplify a single copy or a few copies of a piece of DNA for generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.

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