CEN/TS 17303:2019

Foodstuffs - DNA barcoding of fish and fish products using defined mitochondrial cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase I gene segments

Publication date:   Jul 15, 2019

General information

60.60 Standard published   Mar 27, 2019


CEN/TC 460 Food Authenticity

Technical Specification

67.120.30   Fish and fishery products



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This document describes a procedure for the identification of single fish and fish fillets to the level of genus or species.
The identification of fish species is carried out by PCR amplification of either a segment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cytb) or the cytochrome c oxidase I gene (cox1, syn COI) or both, followed by sequencing of the PCR products and subsequent sequence comparison with entries in databases. The methodology allows the identification of a large number of commercially important fish species.
The decision whether the cytb or cox1 gene segment or both are used for fish identification depends on the declared fish species, the applicability of the PCR method for the fish species and the availability of comparative sequences in the public databases.
This method has been successfully validated on raw fish fillets, however, laboratory experience is available that it can also be applied to processed, e.g. cold smoked, hot smoked, salted, frozen, cooked, fried, deep-fried samples.
This document is usually unsuitable for the analysis of highly processed foods, e.g. tins of fish, with highly degraded DNA where the fragment lengths are not sufficient for amplification of the targets. Furthermore, it is not applicable for complex fish products containing mixtures of two or more fish species.

Related legislation

Legislation related to this standard


Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 onofficial controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules

Life cycle


CEN/TS 17303:2019
60.60 Standard published
Mar 27, 2019


prEN ISO 17174


Adopted from L10.00-12 MODIFIED