Processed food products of animal origin raise questions related to industrial safety and human health protection. This paper aimed to optimize and validate a real-time, sensitive, and accurate PCR method for the detection and quantification of meat species in selected processed meat products: chicken sausages, beef bologna, and pork bologna. A common detection limit of 8 DNA copies was established for each sample, corresponding to 0.1% for beef and pork and 0.2% for chicken. For the limit of quantification, dilutions of 20 copies of DNA for the bovine and pig species and 50 copies of DNA for the chicken species were performed. Specificity and selectivity tests in six replicates each showed no extraneous meat species, in line with the label. Repeatability was assessed in six replicates, both quantitatively and qualitatively, by the same analyst, on the same day, and with the same equipment. The results showed that beef bologna contained 84.49% beef meat, pork bologna 92.8% pork meat, and chicken sausages 95.14% chicken meat. The reproducibility results obtained by two analysts, on different days, for each sample were very similar. The real-time PCR technique can be used as a tool in internal and public safety control to improve industrial safety and human health protection.
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