MUMBAI: Forensic vans of the Maharashtra Police will soon be equipped with kits to detect cow meat. This will cut down on the time lost in deciding the authenticity of the meat, said Krishna Kulkarni, deputy director of forensic science laboratory here.
“Normally we use the DNA test to ascertain whether the meat in question is that of a cow. It is the best technique but is time-consuming. It needs at least a couple of days to get the final results,” said Krishna Kulkarni adding that though the technique is still used for final confirmation, the increase in sample size has forced them to find quicker solutions.
“Earlier we hardly used to get a couple of samples for testing in a month. However, the number has gone up to over a hundred in the past few months,” he said.
“Enzyme-linked immunosorbany assey (ELISA) test is a common forensic test that has been used to detect cases of meat adulteration for a long time. The tests are quick and the kits are not too expensive. By this technique, which is based on the specific antigen in the meat, its authenticity can be decided within 30 minutes,” said Krishna Kulkarni.
To enhance crime detection and expedite the process of collection of conclusive forensic evidence, the Maharashtra government had brought in 45 forensic vans about a year ago. Now, the idea is to equip these vans with ELISA kits meant to detect cow meat that costs around Rs 8,000, Krishna Kulkarni added.
“A single kit can be used to test about a hundred samples. With the help of these kits initial screening of the suspicious samples can be done and samples that test positive can then be brought to us to conclusively prove that the sample was that of a cow,” Krishna Kulkarni said.