New Zealand (NZ) scientists say they can trace individual meat patties to their batches of origin, the NZ Association of Crown Research Institutes reports.

Until now, traceback of ground products was thought impossible due to the mixing of many different DNA profiles, says lead scientist Grant Shackell. The NZ process matches samples from up to 40 different animals to their batch source.

“We're effectively using 15 grams from a ton of meat to match one specific patty to its manufacturing batch,” Shackell says. Mock traces of samples returned from Japan have been correctly traced to their production batch; and, samples deliberately mislabeled to test the system have been detected.