In the term of food safety, meat adulteration is a worldwide problem. The aim of the present study is to detect raw ostrich's meat impurity either with cattle's or with chicken's meat using polymerase chain reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) by targeting the universal primer for mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. A total number of 10 raw meat samples of ostrich's, cattle's, and chicken's meat were collected from Institute slaughterhouses. Nutritional comparisons of meat samples from different three species were done. The sensitivity of PCR-RFLP method was evaluated using model binary samples made from ostrich's meat containing defined percentages of adulteration levels (10%, 5%, and 1% wt/wt) of either cattle's or chicken's meat. Results showed that ostrich's meat is characterized by a favorable fatty acids profile and cholesterol content in comparison to meat from other species. PCR product yielded a 360 bp amplicon which was further digested with restriction endonuclease (RE) Alu I. RFLP method was valuable in the detection of ostrich's meat impurity with cattle's meat at percentage of 10%, 5%, and 1% (wt/wt) using Alu I which digest cattle's fragment into 160 bp and 200 bp fragments, while the cytochrome b fragment of ostrich was not cleaved. However; RFLP technique is unfit in the detection of ostrich's meat adulteration with chicken's meat even with the use of other restriction enzymes as Hind III, Taq I, Mbo I, Hha I, and Bsa I RE. Conclusively, PCR-RFLP method seems to be a reliable technique for the identification of ostrich's meat adulteration with cattle's meat and invaluable in the detection of ostrich's meat adulteration with chicken's meat which may be due to absence of intraspecific polymorphism for these restriction enzymes between ostrich and chicken species.
Key words: Ostrich meat Adulteration- (PCR-RFLP) Analysis- mt cytochrome b gene- Restriction endonucleases- Nutritional comparisons