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Botanical Origin Authenticity Control of Pine Pollen Food Products Using Multiplex Species-Specific PCR Method


Pine pollen has been widely recognized for its comprehensive nutritional properties and health benefits, but it has also been the target of fraudulent practices. Accurate authentication of pine pollen throughout the production chain is thus of great importance to quality and safety control of pine pollen food products. Aiming at the adverse effects of excipients and DNA degradation during processes, a pretreatment method including dissolution and centrifugation steps was incorporated in DNA extraction, and the chloroplast trnL-F region was used to establish a multiplex species-specific PCR assay. The developed assay could detect 1% of intentional adulteration of cattail pollen or corn flour into pine pollen down to 0.01 ng level of template DNA and was proved to be effective for botanical origin authentication of commercial pine pollen food products. Therefore, the present study provides a simple and sensitive approach for quality control and safety monitoring of commercial pine pollen food products, and the methodology can be applied in botanical origin authenticity control of other pollen products.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article. The materials used during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81503178).

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Authors and Affiliations



Ruiyang Wang verified the experiments and wrote the original manuscript. Micun Zhong and Tong Wang investigated the resources and contributed reagents and materials. Na Hao performed the experiments and was a major contributor in writing the manuscript. Hongtao Wang was the supervisor of the proposed work and played a major role in data interpretation. All the authors have read the manuscript and approved to submit to the journal.

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Correspondence to Hongtao Wang.

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Wang, R., Zhong, M., Hao, N. et al. Botanical Origin Authenticity Control of Pine Pollen Food Products Using Multiplex Species-Specific PCR Method. Food Anal. Methods 15, 421–427 (2022).

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