Detection of DNA in soybean oil

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Abstract

 The presence of DNA in foodstuffs which are, or contain, genetically modified organisms (GMO) is the basic requirement for labelling of GMO food in Switzerland and is also being discussed as a requirement for labelling in the European Union. The present work presents data indicating that no genetic material can be recovered after the first processing steps of soybean oil, i.e. when crude soybean oil is simply centrifuged. This fact is of some relevance because centrifugation is one of the first steps in industrial oil processing. A nested PCR system utilising a single copy gene (lectin 1) showed that centrifugation purified the oil from the genetic material by at least a factor of 10 000. The same results were observed when industrially processed oil fractions were analysed. Thus, with respect to the presence of DNA, soybean oil from GMO soybeans is identical to traditional oil and does not need to be labelled as a GMO product in Switzerland.

Received: 21 January 1998 / Revised version: 30 March 1998