PCR Based Detection of Genetically Modified Soy in Processed Foods Commercially Available in Saudi Arabia

Ibrahim Abdullah Alaraidh


In this research, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique was applied to detect the presence of GMO sold in the Saudi Arabian market. This method was applied to detect genetically modified soy (GM-soy) in particular the roundup ready soy (RRS). To confirm the presence of soy, samples were first tested for the existence of the soy specific lectin gene.  A total of eighty samples were tested out of which two samples tested positive as GM-soy. Not surprisingly, the findings showed the existence of GM-soy in food products in Saudi. This supports the necessity of developing precise quantitative and qualitative ways for routine analyses and detection of GMO products in the Saudi Arabian market. With the discovery of GM products in the Saudi Arabian market it would be of no surprise that other Middle Eastern nations also knowingly or unknowingly import GM crops.




RR soybean, Genetically modified organism, Processed foods, Soy, PCR.

Full Text:



ABDULLAH, T., RADU, S., HASSAN, Z. and HASHIM, J. K. 2006. Detection of genetically modified soy in processed foods sold commercially in Malaysia by PCR-based method. Food Chemistry, 98: 575-579.

AHMED, F. 2002. Detection of genetically modified organisms in foods. Trends in biotechnology, 20: 215-223.

ALLMANN, M., CANDRIAN, U., HOLFELEN, C. and LUTHY, J. 1993. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): a possible alternative to immunochemical methods ensuring safety and quality of food. Zeits-chrift fur lebensmittel-untersuchung and forchung, 196: 248-251.

ANKLAM, E., GADANI, F., HEINZE, P., PIJNENPURG, H. and EEDE, G.V.D. 2002. Analytical methods for detection and determination of Genetically modified organisms in agricultural crops plant- Derived food products. European food research and technology, 214(1): 3-26.

FORTE, V.T., POINTO, A.D., MARTINO, C., TANTILLO, G.M., GRASSO, G. and CHENA, F.B. 2004. A general multilex-PCR assay for the General detection of genetically modified soya and maize. Food control, 16(6): 535-539.

GACHET, E., MARTIN, G.G., VIGNEAU, F. and MEYER, G. 1999. Detection of genetically modified organism (GMOs) by PCR. A brief review of methodology available. Trends in food Science and technology, 9: 380-388.

GREINER, R., KONIETZNY, U. and VILLAVICENCIO, A.L.C.H. 2004. Qualitative and quantitative detection of genetically modified Maize and soy in processed foods sold commercially in brazil By PCR-based methods. Food control, 10(8): 753-759.

HELLER, K.J. 2003. Part 3.7: detection of genetic modifications: Some basic consideration. In K.N. Heller (Ed.), generally modified foods: method and detection (pp. 149-154).wiley-VCH GmbH & co KGaA.

HOLST-JENSEN, A. 2001. Chapter 2 GMO detection methods and Validation . Accessed o1.01.03.

JAMES, C. 2003. Global status of commercialized transgenic crops:. ISAAA Briefs, 30.

JAMES, D., SCHMIDT, A., WALL, E., GREEN, M. and MASRI, S. 2003. Reliable detection and identification of genetically modified Maize, Soybean and Canola by multiplex PCR analysis. J. of Agric. Food Chemi. 2003. 51: 5829-5834.

LIN, H-Y., CHAING, J-W. and SHIH, Y.-C. 2001. Detection of genetically modified soy beans by PCR method and immunoassay kit .journal of food and drug analysis, 9(3): 160-166.

LIN, H.-Y. and CHIUEH, L.-C. 2000. Detection of genetically modified soy beans and maize by the polymerase chain reaction method. Journal of food and drug analysis, 8(3): 200-207.

LIPP, M., ANKLAM, E. and STEVE, J.W. 2000. Validation of an immunoassay for detection and quantification of a genetically modified soybean in food and food fractions using reference materials: interlaboratory study. Journal of the Association of official analytical chemists international, 83: 919-927.

LIPP, M., BRODMANN, K., PAUWELS, J. and ANKLAM, E. 1999. IUPAC collaborative trail study of a method to detect genetically modified soy beans and maize in dried powder. Journal of the association of official analytical chemists international, 82(4): 923-928.

LIPP, M., BLUTH, A., EYQUEM, F., KRUSE, L., SCHIMMEL, H. and EEDE, G.V. 2001. Validation of a method based on polymerase chain reaction for the detection of genetically modified organisms in various processed foodstuffs. European food research and technology, 212(4): 497-540.

MATHEW, C.K. and HOLDER, K.E.V. 1990. Part ii: Molecular architecture of living matter. In C.K. Mathews & K.E.V. Holder (Eds.), biochemistry (pp. 146-148). Redwood: the Benjamin/Cummings.

MATSUOKA, T., KURIBARA, H., TAKUBO, K., AKIYAMA, H., KUIRA, H. and GODA, Y. 2002. Detection recombinants DNA segments introduced to genetically modified maize (Zea mays). Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 50: 2100-2109.

MEYER, R. 1999. Development and application of DNA analytical methods for the detection of GMOs in food. Food control, 10(6): 391-399.

MEYER, R., CHARDONNENS, F., HUBNER, P. and LUTHY, J. 1996. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the quality and safety assurance of food: detection of soya in processed meat products. Z. Lebensm Unters Forsch, 203(4): 339-344.

RUGULATION, 1998. (EC) No. 1139|98 of the European council on the compulsory indication of the labeling of certain foodstuffs produced from genetically modified organism of particulars other than those provided for in direction 79|112|EEC. Official journal of European Union, L159/4, 26.05.1998.>, http://europa.eu.int/eurlex/pri/en/oj/dat/ 1998/1_159/1_15919980603en00040007.pdf< Accessed 01.12.03

REGULATION 1666. Ministry of Commerce, Decision No. 1666 dated 15/9/1421H (10/12/2000). http://www.commerce.gov.sa/english/.

SHIRAI, N., MOMMA, K., OZAWA, S., HASHIMOTO, W., KITO, M. and UTSUMI, S. 1998. Safety assessment of genetically engineered food: detection and monitoring of glyphosate- tolerance soybeans. Bioscience biotechnology and biochemistry, 62: 1461-1464.

STUDER, E., RHYNER, C., LUTHY, J. and HUBNER. 1999. Quantitative competitive PCR for the detection of genetically modified soyabean and maize. European food research and technology, 207(3): 207-213.

TENGEL, C., SCHSSLER, P., SETZKE, E., BALLER, J., and SPEEGER-HAUSSELS, M. 2001. PCR-based detection of genetically modified soyabean and maiza in raw and highly processed foodstuffs. Bio Techniques, 31: 426-429.

TENGEL, C., SCHSSLER, P., SETZKE, E., BALLER, J. and SPEEGER-HAUSSELS, M. 2002. Detection of genetically modified soyabean and maize in raw and processed foodstuffs. Qiagen news, 2: 16-18.

VOLLENHOFER, S., BURG, K., SCHMIDT, J. and KROATH, H. 1999. Genetically modified organism in food – screening and specific detection by polymerase chain reaction. Journal of agriculture food chemistry, 47: 5038-5043.

WOLF, C., BURGENER, M., HUBNER, P. and LUTHY, J. 2000. PCR-RFLP analysis of mitochondrial DNA: differentiation of fish species. Lebensmittel-wissenshaft u technologie, 144-150.

YAMAGUCHI, H., SASAKI, K., UMETSU, H. and KAMADA, H. 2003. Two detection methods of genetically modified maize and state of its import into japan. Food control, 14(3): 201-206.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/squjs.vol14iss0pp17-23


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Ibrahim Abdullah Alaraidh

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


This journal and its content is licensed under a Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.

Flag Counter