IDTHON

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In 2010, the market for canned tuna in France amounted to around 112,000 tonnes and accounted for more than 50 % of the purchasing volume of canned aquatic products.
Skipjack tuna is the world's third most fished species after anchovy and Alaska pollock (FAO 2005). Other species of tuna are also used in the processing and production of heat-treated canned products. These are the albacore tuna, the bigeye tuna and the white tuna. Products available on the market come from all over the world. While French interests are well-represented, controlling supplies is a problem that tuna canning companies are faced with. A major part of thhis is knowing which species are contained in the batches of raw material.

However, this control comes up against two phenomena :
· the accidental mixing of species when the fish is sorted and which leads to a partial contamination of some batches (less than 1%)
· the fraudulent use of a substitute raw material with an aim to financial gain.

The aims of this project are to provide tuna canning companies with tools that will enable them to counteract these two problems.

The CITPPM therefore wishes to have tools that will enable them to formally identify the species used in heat-treated cans.

Three scientific partners and two industrial partners have decided to take part in this programme.

Three technologies have been selected in order to obtain qualitative and quantitative data on the various species :
· real-time PCR for the characterisation of DNA,
· mass spectometry for the quantification of peptides or metabolites,
· fluorescence spectroscopy to obtain a mapping.
These three methods which complement one another will enable us to direct research towards pertinent shared points. Their synergy will enable us to envisage new emerging technological approaches.
The ultimate goal of the project is to develop an analytical method of quantification and differentiation of the species of canned tuna. Technologically it will be transferred to Phylogène or the 'Nouvelles Vagues' platform who will provide their services to tuna canning companies.

In 2010, the market for canned tuna in France amounted to around 112,000 tonnes and accounted for more than 50 % of the purchasing volumes of canned aquatic products. Products available on the market come from all over the world, and controlling supplies is a problem which tuna canning companies are faced with. A major part of this is knowing which species are contained in the batches of raw material. However, this control comes up against two phenomena : the accidental mixing of species when the fish is sorted and which leads to a partial contamination of some batches (> à 1%) and the fraudulent use of a substitute raw material with an aim to financial gain.
The IDTHON project consists of making tools to identify and quantify the species of tuna used in heat-treated canning available to tuna canning companies ia the study of three technologies used separately or together.

This project, labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 20th April 2012, is co-labellised by the Qualiméditerranée Pole.

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