Turkey: TÜBITAK invests $125,000 to detect pork in halal meat

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The Marmara Research Center (MAM) of the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has developed a test to swiftly detect whether there is pork in halal meat, after investing almost $125,000 over more than two years.

The Food Institute at TÜBITAK’s MAM developed a five-minute test which will be made available to the masses in order to detect whether pork meat was mixed with meat advertised as “halal,” project coordinator Dr. Mediha Esra Yayla told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.“The test is in fact as simple as a pregnancy test; it works the same way. Here as well, you either see a single strip or two strips,” Yayla said, explaining that a single strip means there is no pork inside the meat.

In order to obtain results, one has to cut a tiny piece of meat, immerse it in water and then dip the test stick into the water to determine the proteins inside the liquid.

Test to ‘relieve’ consumers

“We believe this test will attract a lot of attention,” Yayla said, adding each test stick will cost less than 10 Turkish Liras.

“Without noticing, we end up consuming non-halal products. On one side, there are fraudulent food products, on the other side, there are the non-halal items in convenient goods… and not just in Turkey. Most of us go abroad, take planes, go to foreign restaurants,” the coordinator said, claiming the presence of such a test will “relieve” consumers.

The project was launched 2.5 years ago and its budget of 350,000 liras (roughly $120,000) was financed by TÜBITAK MAM. Yayla said the aim was to extend this test to detect horse meat or donkey meat in products advertised as lamb or veal.