The Capabilities and Limitations of DNA Barcoding of Botanical Dietary Supplements


A new white paper from four expert scientists assessing the capabilities and limitations of DNA barcoding for herbal supplements.

The group says not much research has been done using DNA barcoding for materials that are not living. In the case of botanical extracts, DNA can be removed or degraded during extraction and processing. "Therefore, the use of DNA barcoding for finished dietary supplements is largely misunderstood and misapplied—even by those who claim to perform it. Despite several reports indicating the successful use of DNA barcode methods on botanical extracts [13-14], the results are erroneous and likely due to cross-contamination by raw or fresh materials either in manufacturing or in the laboratory conducting testing [15]," the report suggests.

The white paper, commissioned by the supplements industry, can be accessed here.


Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 3/11/15