Probing putative carcinogenic potential of processed and unprocessed meat using bioluminescent bacterial reports

Anita Mazzai, Evgeni Eltzov, Marisa Manzano, Robert S. Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Consumption of meat is increasing worldwide and to prolong both it's shelf-life and safety companies add various chemicals, some of which are under evaluation to assess their responsible cancer induction. The International Agency of research on Cancer classified red meat and processed meat as probably (Group 2A) and carcinogenic (Group 1) respectively for humans. The aim of this study was to propose a biological sensor able to detect DNA mutations that could lead to cancer induction in beef, and chicken meats as well as processed. Genetically engineered E. coli DPD2794 strain able to produce bioluminescence in the presence of damages in the DNA molecule, allowed the screening and discrimination between different meats in terms of potential carcinogenic induction. Unprocessed beef and chicken induced low amounts of bioluminescence, whereas processed beef and chicken induced values above the cut-off limit established. These values where low in comparison to the bioluminescence produced by a strong activator used as our positive reference, leading us to the conclusion that processed meat has a low carcinogenic effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Bioluminescence
  • Biosensor
  • DNA damage
  • Engineered Escherichia coli
  • Meat
  • NOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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