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A novel onsite and visual molecular technique to authenticate saffron (Crocus sativus) and its adulterants based on recombinase polymerase amplification

Zhao, Mingming, Wang, Bo, Xiang, Li, Xiong, Chao, Shi, Yuhua, Wu, Lan, Meng, Xiangxiao, Dong, Gangqiang, Xie, Yiqiang, Sun, Wei
Food control 2019 v.100 pp. 117-121
Crocus sativus, DNA, adulterants, adulterated products, cross reaction, herbs, immunoassays, prices, saffron, China
Saffron (Crocus sativus), one of the most expensive herbs in China, has been subject to various types of adulteration as a consequence of its high price and limited production. The present work describes a sensitive, efficient and simple technique for on-site saffron identification. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) in combination with a universal lateral flow immunoassay strip (saffron RPA-LFD) was employed for rapid visual detection of saffron. This assay was able to detect saffron in less than 15 min at 37 °C. This assay was highly sensitive with detection limits of 1 pg genomic DNA, and highly specific, with no cross-reaction with common saffron adulterants. This proposed simple and sensitive assay is well-suited for rapid molecular detection of saffron, with results in the form of the presence (positive bands) or absence (no positive bands) of bands.