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Meat detector distinguishes between beef and horsemeat

12 November 2013

UK engineers have developed a bench top device that can identify meat before it is processed, enabling it to distinguish between beef and horsemeat in products.

According to Oxford Instruments and the Institute of Food Research, the technology can distinguish between fatty acids from horses, cows, geese, pigs and sheep. It is also being developed to recognise rat meat.

"Each fat gives off a different signal," said Paul Bunting, sales director at Oxford Instruments. "The great advantage of this is that rather than spending £500 to send off meat for DNA testing and waiting up to a week for the result, they can use this and get results in minutes."

Bunting added that he has started to talks with all of the country's biggest supermarkets. Mid-size retailers currently spend up to £1million a year on sending samples for testing.

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