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 | pirasp@tiscali.it Veterinary Public Health and Food Security Service of the Region of Sardinia, Cagliari, Italy.
  • 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.

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Published
2018-03-31
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Section
Applied Studies
Keywords:
Grey mullets, Species identification, Fish products, Bottarga.
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How to Cite
Piras, P., Sardu, F., Meloni, D., Riina, M. V., Beltramo, C., & Acutis, P. L. (2018). 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. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2018.6893