Urban Barcode Project Team Team 80's Kids
Program:
Urban Barcode Project
Year:
2017-18
Research Topic:
Food fraud
Taxonomic Group Studied:
Animals: Vertebrate

Project:

Testing the Authenticity of School Cafeteria Food
Students:
Gavin Zheng, Thompson Hui, Damien Zlatkis, Michael Gillow
School:
Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan
Mentors:
Jessica Quenzer

Abstract:

Our goal is to find out if whether the food we’re eating in school is correctly identified. Since most foods are processed, we cannot be sure if the end product has any resemblance to the ingredients said to be used, i.e., it can be very easy to use alternative substances and flavorings to mimic the food mentioned on the lunch menu. A major reason for this to occur is either negligence or an attempt to reduce the cost of food production. As to the steps for fulfilling our goal, we plan to obtain food samples from the school cafeteria and DNA barcode it to compare with raw food known to contain the mentioned ingredients. If there is a distinct difference in the DNA sequences of cafeteria food with the raw food, then we can argue that the food isn’t what it’s labeled as and there could be potential dangers in eating an unknown substance. The preferred result is that the DNA comes out similar so we can then say that the food is what it’s labeled and that we’re not being misled.

Poster:

Team samples:

▲