Testing for Genetically Modified Food

In gaining advantage of acquiring genetic codes, various research studies have been successful in associating DNA sequences from diverse organisms through the use of molecular biology methods and to incorporate unknown DNA in plant life. A genetically modified organism is one in which its genetic material is modified or changedin any way, usually to promote better growth.A genetically engineered organism has been altered in some way that that enable the direct transfer or eradication of genes in a particular organism. Genetically modified organisms manufacture proteins which present new features. This transpires by enhancing the protection of crops used in agriculture, generating the most favorable yield, and augmenting endurance of crops in an unfavorable environment. This permits escalated quality and quantity of crops, a reduction in the cost of crops that have been manufactured and increased advantage to the surroundings. It is uncertain whether this method enables the plant crop to possess increased nutritional value whichwould benefit individuals.
In the 90s, the first food products that have been genetically modified were accepted by the United States organizations. These products include corn, soybeans, and tomatoes. From that time on, debates and controversies have already become part of foods that have been genetically modified including their impacts on the health of people and the surroundings in the long term. Environmental damage has also been an issue involving the allergies that GMO`s may bring to the human race. As an outcome of such issues, between genetically modified foods delivered in the United States should branded accordingly.
Food products are examined to deny or confirm the existence of genetically modified organisms sporadically food contamination happens when food examination is inaccurate. Polymerase Chain Reaction is one method that is utilized to examine the presence of genetically modified organisms in food products such as cheese puffs that were used in this experiment.The existence of a band signifies GMO`s presence. The concept of Polymerase Chain Reaction is to multiply DNA sequences thereby making them noticeable. This type of method is extremely sensitive however it provides the benefits of being able to detect DNA molecules, which are thermostable compared to proteins. The efficiency of identification, confirmation and screening approaches must be analyzed in accordance to false-positive percentages, desertion of marker genes, augmented utilization of certain regulator sequences and the escalating quantity of genetically modified foods. In this laboratory procedure, we tested the existence of genetically modified organisms in cheese puffs through the use polymerase chain reaction method.
Figure 1. Electrophoresis gel showing molecular weights. The last lane is the molecular weight markers
The main purpose of this laboratory procedure was to see if the food was genetically modified by the company that manufactures cheese puffs. The figure above shows the procedure done. There were eight lanes in all, each were given a 20 μl of the sample. An agarose gel was used in the procedure. After isolating the DNA and adding extraction buffer, the sample was incubated. The supernatant was transferred to another tube and after some time, the supernatant was taken from the pellet. In preparing the PCR, the group ensured that PCR pellet was situated below the tube. The tubes were positioned in a thermal cycler. As the agarose gel contacts with electricity that is present in the solvent, the electricity shifts the DNA pieces through the gel. Unfortunately, during this process, spillage of solution happened while loading the gel image. Thus it can be very difficult to tell whether we were successful in getting an accurate result. First, it must be realized that PCR is extremely sensitive. The group considers our results inconclusive after the bank from lane 1 spilled into lane 2 during gel loading.
The main objective of this lab procedure was to see if the food was genetically modified by the company that manufactures cheese puffs. The existence of genetically modified organisms was signified by a band in the gel. When the cheese puffs puree was examined using the polymerase chain reaction method, there was inability to obtain an accurate result of the sensitivity of the method. The polymerase chain reaction is supposed to obtain the target sequence of DNA. This procedure involves three steps namely denaturation, annealing and primer extension. While the group was able to successfully conduct denaturation and annealing, the bank from lane 1 accidently got spilled into lane 2 during gel loading. Thus the group suggests that extreme caution must be done when performing this kind of experiment in order to obtain an accurate result. In this laboratory procedure, we realized the sensitivity of the procedure in conducting an examination of genetically modified cheese puffs through the use of polymerase chain reaction. In addition, it would have been best if the group made use of other samples as well for comparison purposes. Nonetheless,this paper suggests performing the procedure all over again in order to obtain accurate results.
Ahmed, Farid E. “Detection of genetically modified organisms in foods.”TRENDS in Biotechnology 20.5 (2002): 215-223.

Close Menu