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What is Traceability?



Traceability provides the means to trace meat throughout the production chain helping guarantee the origin of a cut of meat.  Knowing where meat comes from is important to Canadian consumers and the DNA TraceBack® process can guarantee the exact origin of meat products.

With longer and more complex food production chains, ranchers, meat packers, food distributors are using new and innovative tools to ensure traceability.  Achieving full product traceability can be expensive and challenging using conventional technology (paper labels and bar codes).  This can also result in potential losses to production efficiency.

Nature's Bar Code

The DNA TraceBack® process from IdentiGEN uses the power of nature's "bar code," i.e. the unique DNA profile of each animal, to identify the livestock from where meat products originate.  The ability to read a product’s DNA “label” enables the tracing of commercially produced meat back to the source animal with great precision, without the need for additional labels, technology, or complex recordkeeping systems.

D.N.A. Research

Traceability is in Our DNA

The DNA TraceBack® logo on a meat product assures the consumer that the products purchased are subject to one of the most stringent and accurate full traceability systems available, based on the latest technology in forensic science. 

Who is IdentiGEN?

IdentiGEN is the first company in the world to develop and commercialize the concept of using DNA technology for meat traceability. The company operates its laboratories in Europe, the US, and Canada.

The Science

IdentiGEN was founded on the relevant scientific background and expertise in livestock genetics to design DNA identity tests that are highly accurate.  IdentiGEN has developed and validated panels of DNA markers - known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs – for the major livestock species that recognize the breeding structures of these populations.

Unequaled Experience

Over more than 10 years in business, IdentiGEN has implemented DNA-based traceability solutions in seven countries within the EU and North America. This unique industry experience has been essential in providing the knowledge base to not only integrate DNA traceability solutions into complex supply chains, but to also configure them to achieve maximum value.


What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid – DNA - is a molecule which contains the biological information that makes each organism unique and is transmissible across generations.  The ability to read the DNA code embedded in each piece of meat allows that meat to be traced to the animal it comes from.  DNA is "nature's bar code" as it uniquely identifies each cut of meat in a manner analogous to a barcode.

How DNA TraceBack Works

The system starts with sample collection:

Sample collection may take place at a number of different points;

Operational Model