PCR-based assessment of shellfish traceability and sustainability in international Mediterranean seafood markets.
Two mitochondrial markers (cytochrome oxidase COI and 16S rDNA) were employed for species identification of commercial shellfish from two Mediterranean countries. New COI Barcodes were generated for six species: Pleoticus robustus, Metapenaeopsis barbata, Parapenaeus fissuroides, Hymenopenaeus debilis, Metapenaeus affinis and Sepia aculeata. Biodiversity of the seafood species analyzed was greater in Egypt, with nine crustacean and two cephalopod species found compared with only three crustaceans and three cephalopods in Spain. In total, 17.2% and 15.2% products were mislabeled in Egypt and Spain, respectively. Population decline is a problem for some of the substitute species. Others were exotic and/or invasive in exporters' regions. This study offers the first comparable study of shellfish traceability in these Mediterranean markets. The PCR-based method used in this study proved to be reliable, effective and, therefore, could be employed for routine seafood analysis.