Tyson Foods is using DNA technology to trace the origin of cuts of beef, as it responds to growing consumer demands for traceability.
Through a collaboration with DNA identification solutions provider Identigen, Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, traces the cattle raised for the Open Prairie brand of beef.
Identigen’s DNA TraceBack process is intended to assure customers that the Open Prairie beef products they buy were sourced from ranches where the cattle were raised to meet specific requirements, such as without antibiotics or added hormones.
«This is about meeting growing demand for more transparency about how food is produced,» said Kent Harrison, vice president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats.
«Through DNA TraceBack, we’re providing our retail and foodservice customers with scientific evidence that they’re getting high-quality, natural beef from animals raised the way we promised.»
Kent Partida, vice president of North American business development for Identigen, added: «We're excited to partner with an industry leader like Tyson Fresh Meats.
«Our DNA TraceBack programme is the most advanced meat traceability system available and uses nature’s barcode to link meat from the point of sale back to the source. It will enable retail and foodservice customers of Open Prairie beef to confidently share their traceability story with shoppers.»
Tyson drew attention to the «rigorous» animal welfare standards that it adheres to for the Open Prairie brand. Cattle sourced for the products are raised by independent ranchers mostly from Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Nebraska. The beef is produced by the Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Lexington, Nebraska.
The news comes after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland last month announced it has collaborated with Identigen to develop a scanning tool to identify the entire DNA content of a food.
According to the body, the tool can proactively identify all the ingredients and their biological sources in a food, which will aid regulators in protecting consumers in relation to potential food fraud and misleading labelling.