The work on authenticity and quality assessment methods as validation tools, has continued during 2006 with the selection of the assessment methods for the most important safety aspects of shellfish as traceable data, including the selection and recommendation of the best methods for analysis of the most important types of toxins in bivalve molluscs: PSP (saxitoxins), ASP (domoic acid) and DSP (okadaic acid, pectenotoxins, yessotoxins, azaspiracids).
In order to assure authentification methodologies and specifically DNA based techniques, which are considered as the most reliable between them, quantifiable reference materials as validation tools in the form of plasmids have been developed.
To date, the validation of DNA methodologies have been performed using a DNA template previously extracted from some well characterised fish samples, but this type of techniques introduces variation parameters during the DNA extraction step. The use of plasmidic standards solves this handicap.
Discrimination between wild and farmed fish species is another important aspect as traceable data. Although farmed and wild Atlantic salmon have been reported as clearly differentiated by the fatty acids ratio n3/n6 of the extracted oils in some works, high resolution 13C NMR spectrs combined with multivariate data analysis is considered as the best method to identify farmed and wild Atlantic salmon and to identify their geographic origins.
A guide specifically directed for the professionals involved in the traceability chain verification, like quality assurance managers and control authorities, is being developed.