National Research Centre on Meat, Hyderabad
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Halal/ kosher meat
2018: NRCM develops laboratory test
Is halal meat, served in restaurants and sold in supermarkets, really halal? Scientists at the National Research Centre on Meat (NRCM) in Hyderabad claim to have — for the first time — developed a laboratory test that can determine whether a piece of meat has been obtained from animals slaughtered according to the Islamic dietary law or not.
NRCM scientists conducted tests on sheep slaughtered through the halal method and compared it with that of sheep slaughtered through electric stunning. They found variations at the molecular level in the meat of the two sets of animals. In the halal method, a specific group of proteins was impacted which was different in sheep slaughtered through electric stunning. Based on the changes, the scientists were able to tell whether the meat was halal or not.
The scientists investigated changes in blood biochemical parameters and protein structure (proteomic profile) to identify the differences. A method called ‘difference gel electrophoresis’ was adopted to identify the difference in muscle proteins of the two types of meat. As many as 46 proteins were affected in the two methods. The scientists add that pre-slaughter stress in animals would also help in identifying halal from non-halal meat.
The scientists claim that theirs is the only halalspecific test globally.