DNA-based Meat Traceability at Imperial Wagyu Beef

US - Imperial Wagyu Beef, a premium all natural Wagyu beef producer based in Blair, Nebraska, is to use IdentiGEN's DNA TraceBack system to trace its beef from the restaurant or retail store back to the Imperial farm of origin.
calendar icon 8 May 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

IdentiGEN’s meat tracking system, developed by geneticists at Trinity College Dublin, has been widely used in Europe since 2000 to verify product authenticity.

Imperial Wagyu Beef produces traditional, all natural Kobe-style Wagyu beef from the unique Wagyu breed of cattle that is prized for its taste, tenderness and health benefits.

Its beef is provided to restaurants and retailers by select distributors, including New York City-based DeBragga and Spitler, and is featured on the menus of many fine restaurants, including Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City, Restaurant Kevin Taylor in Denver, the Hilton Omaha, and Las Brisas Southwest Steakhouse in Amarillo, Texas. The company plans to expand distribution to retailers and restaurants in select markets.

Lawrence Adams, President of Imperial Wagyu Beef, said: "This DNA-based traceability system is the key to helping us assure consumers of the complete and accurate traceability of each piece of our beef back to the authentic Wagyu cattle raised at our Imperial farms."

Under IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack system, DNA samples will be taken from Imperial Wagyu Beef cattle at the processing plant and sent to IdentiGEN’s laboratory in Lawrence, Kansas, where their unique DNA identifiers will be captured and recorded using IdentiGEN’s proprietary ID-GENerator technology.

"It's gratifying that Imperial Wagyu sees the value of DNA TraceBack as a way to improve traceability and increase transparency in their meat supply," said Tim Riemenschneider, vice-president of North American sales for IdentiGEN.

The DNA TraceBack system enables retailers, meat producers, meat processors and food-service outlets to respond to growing consumer demand for more information about where and how their meat is produced. Aside from proactively reassuring consumers about the origin of meat they buy, DNA TraceBack can be a major risk-management tool for retailers by offering seamless and fast traceability in the event of any product recall or food-safety incident.

DNA TraceBack offers a low-cost solution to pork and beef producers because its implementation requires only minor modifications to existing handling and processing procedures, and because the DNA profiles can be processed for pennies per pound.

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