Species identification - analysis

 Meat coming out of a meat grinder

Food fraud sometimes involves replacing expensive meats or fish with cheaper varieties in order to increase profits. The Swedish Food Agency employs accredited methods for species identification of meat, poultry and fish. 

Food fraud damages consumer confidence in food producers throughout the supply chain, from farmer to shop proprietor. Deliberately mislabelling food is a violation of national and international legislation and regulation.

The Swedish Food Agency has the analytical capacity to determine the species of various mammals and birds, including game such as reindeer and elk. For mammals and birds, specific realtime PCR-methods are used. 

It is also possible to determine fish species. Identification of fish and fish roe are based on isoelectric focusing (IEF). The methos is not suitable for heated samples or samples including several species.

Accredited methods

The accredited methods used by the Swedish Food Agency to analyse different species are listed below.

Please contact us if you would like further information and/or prices for the analyses we offer.

Martin Sandberg
Head of Unit Molecular Biology
Email: firstname.sirname@slv.se


Species Latin Analytical technique
Pig Sus scrofa Real-time PCR
Horse Equus caballus Real-time PCR
Cattle Bos taurus Real-time PCR
Sheep Ovis aries Real-time PCR
Goat Capra hircus Real-time PCR
Elk Alces alces Real-time PCR
Reindeer Rangifer tarandus Real-time PCR
Red deer Cervus elaphus Real-time PCR
Fallow deer Dama dama Real-time PCR
Roe deer Capreolus capreolus Real-time PCR


Duck Anas platyrhynchos domesticus Analytical technique
Ostrich Strutio camelus Real-time PCR
Pheasant Phasanius colchicus Real-time PCR
Quail Coturnix coturnix Real-time PCR
Turkey Meleagris gallopavo Real-time PCR
Chicken Gallus gallus domesticus Real-time PCR

For fish species, please contact us.


Laboratory services

Reviewed 2024-05-07