Validation of FASTFISH-ID: A new commercial platform for rapid fish species authentication via universal closed-tube barcoding

Amanda M. Naaum*, Marine Cusa, Maleeka Singh, Zoe Bleicher, Christopher Elliott, Ian B. Goodhead, Robert H. Hanner, Sarah J. Helyar, Stefano Mariani, John E. Rice, Lawrence J. Wangh, J. Aquiles Sanchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Seafood represents up to 20% of animal protein consumption in global food consumption and is a critical dietary and income resource for the world's population. Currently, over 30% of marine fish stocks are harvested at unsustainable levels, and the industry faces challenges related to Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing. Accurate species identification is one critical component of successful stock management and helps combat fraud. Existing DNA-based technologies permit identification of seafood even when morphological features are removed, but are either too time-consuming, too expensive, or too specific for widespread use throughout the seafood supply chain. FASTFISH-ID is an innovative commercial platform for fish species authentication, employing closed-tube barcoding in a portable device. This method begins with asymmetric PCR amplification of the full length DNA barcode sequence and subsequently interrogates the resulting single-stranded DNA with a universal set of Positive/Negative probes labeled in two fluorescent colors. Each closed-tube reaction generates two species-specific fluorescent signatures that are then compared to a cloud-based library of previously validated fluorescent signatures. This novel approach results in rapid, automated species authentication without the need for complex, time consuming, identification by DNA sequencing, or repeated analysis with a panel of species-specific tests. Performance of the FASTFISH-ID platform was assessed in a blinded study carried out in three laboratories located in the UK and North America. The method exhibited a 98% success rate among the participating laboratories when compared to species identification via conventional DNA barcoding by sequencing. Thus, FASTFISH-ID is a promising new platform for combating seafood fraud across the global seafood supply chain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110035
Number of pages11
JournalFood Research International
Early online date10 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Jonathan Deeds and Dr. Sarah Handy (FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition), Dr. Kimberly Warner (Oceana), Dr. Donna-Mareè Cawthorn (SNAPTRACE Project), and Dr. Daniel Distel (The Ocean Genome Legacy Center, Northeastern University Marine Science Center, Nahant, MA) for providing voucher specimens for these studies. We also acknowledge support from Hanna Appiah-Madson and Rosie Falco (Ocean Genome Legacy Center), Margaret Malkoski and Russell Mentzer (National Fisheries Institute), Ken Pierce, John Deng, and Sylvia Rothweiler (ThermaGenix), and Albert Wijngaard (Bio Molecular Systems). We also acknowledge the support of Dr. Jeff Farber, Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS). JAS was funded by a research grant from the Seafood Industry Research Fund (SIRF) and by ThermaGenix, Inc. AN was funded by a Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship. MC, IBG and SM were supported by grant EAPA87/2016 ‘SEATRACES’ from the EU Interreg Atlantic Area Programme.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adulteration
  • Authenticity
  • Fish
  • Food fraud
  • qPCR
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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