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A case study on the labeling of bottarga produced in Sardinia from ovaries of grey mullets (Mugil cephalus and Mugil capurrii) caught in Eastern Central Atlantic coasts

Pierluigi Piras, Francesco Sardu, Domenico Meloni, Maria Vittoria Riina, Chiara Beltramo, Pier Luigi Acutis
  • Pierluigi Piras
    Veterinary Public Health and Food Security Service of the Region of Sardinia, Cagliari, Italy | pirasp@tiscali.it
  • Francesco Sardu
    Oristano Local Socio-Sanitary Area of Sardinia Public Company for Health Protection, Oristano, Italy
  • Domenico Meloni
    Department of Veterinary Medicine of the Sassari University, Sassari, Italy
  • Maria Vittoria Riina
    Genetics and Immunobiochemistry Laboratory of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Turin, Italy
  • Chiara Beltramo
    Genetics and Immunobiochemistry Laboratory of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Turin, Italy
  • Pier Luigi Acutis
    Genetics and Immunobiochemistry Laboratory of the Zooprophylactic Institute of Turin, Italy

Abstract

The aim of this case study is to show how traditional and molecular methods can be employed to identify the Mugilidae species currently used in Sardinia (Italy) to produce the traditional bottarga for the processing of their ovaries. A total of six specimens of Mugil cephalus (n=3) and Mugil capurrii (n=3) were subjected to external morphology and meristic measurements. Subsequently, tissue samples of white muscle and ovaries from three individuals per species were underwent PCR-sequencing assay of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI). The external morphology and meristic characters showed a sufficient level of reliability in the identification between the two species. At the same time, the molecular techniques showed the discriminatory power and confirmed the correct species identification in all the sampling units. DNA barcoding may be an effective aid to traditional taxonomy and can facilitate accurate species identification among the Mugilidae.

Keywords

Grey mullets, Species identification, Fish products, Bottarga.

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Submitted: 2017-07-10 16:48:08
Published: 2018-03-31 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2018 Pierluigi Piras, Francesco Sardu, Domenico Meloni, Maria Vittoria Riina, Chiara Beltramo, Pier Luigi Acutis

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