Häfner, Lukas, et al. “Identification of Cross-Species Marker Peptides for the Detection of Mammalian and Poultry Meat in Vegan and Vegetarian Foods.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2023). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.3c01100
Authentication of vegan and vegetarian foods is important since these increasingly popular food items could be adulterated with cheap meat to increase profit margins. In this study, nine marker peptides for the detection of meat (several species) were identified applying liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). These marker peptides enable the crucial differentiation of beef versus milk and chicken meat versus egg, demonstrated by the investigation of 19 commercial vegetarian meat substitutes containing milk and egg. Extensive experimental testing proved the presence of the cross-species meat marker peptides in 19 food-relevant types of mammals and poultry as well as their absence in more than 136 plant-based ingredients for the production of vegan and vegetarian foods. An authentic vegan sausage matrix based on an actual retail product was produced and spiked with 5.0%, w/w meat to confirm the high signal intensities and the heat stability of the marker peptides.