GM Free Cymru

Monitoring genetically modified soybean along the industrial soybean oil extraction and refining processes by polymerase chain reaction techniques

Joana Costa, Isabel Mafra, Joana S. Amarala, and M.B.P.P. Oliveira

Food Research International Volume 43, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 301-306

This is important. The GM industry has always repeated the mantra that GM material is totally broken down in the processing of GM soy and other GM varieties. This belief has been signed up to by FSA and EFSA etc, with virtually no independent testing or verification for their position. Hence all their reassurances and complacency. Now it looks as if fragments of GM DNA are indeed traceable even in highly refined / processed products.


In the present work, the extraction and detection of DNA along a complete industrial soybean oil processing chain was described to monitor the presence of Roundup Ready® (RR) soybean. The analysed samples comprised all the steps prior to industrial oil extraction, namely, raw, cracked, laminated and expanded seeds, and the defatted flour as a sub-product. The samples collected at the refining unit included the crude oil, degummed/neutralised, washed, bleached and deodorised oil, as final product. The amplification of soybean lectin gene by end-point polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was successfully achieved in all the steps of extraction and refining processes, until the fully refined soybean oil. The amplification of RR soybean by PCR assays using event-specific primers was also achieved for all the extraction and refining steps, except for the intermediate steps of refining (neutralisation, washing and bleaching) possibly due to sample instability. The real-time PCR assays using specific probes confirmed all the results and proved that it is possible to detect and quantify genetically modified organisms in the fully refined soybean oil. To our knowledge, this has never been reported before and represents an important accomplishment regarding the traceability of genetically modified organisms in refined oils.