PCR (short for polymerase chain reaction) is an important analysis method in food analysis as well as in medical diagnostics.

A real-time PCR test duplicates and analyzes specific DNA sequences. In food analysis, PCR tests are used in many applications, e.g. for the detection of pathogenic microorganisms, for allergen identification, for the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO) or for the identification of animal species. PCR tests offer many advantages: They are very specific, sensitive, robust, rapid, reliable and moreover, the tests can be automated.

  • Safe: specific and validated method
  • Reliable: quality-controlled test kits
  • User-friendly: easy-to-use, universal sample preparation
  • Effective: capable to multiplex and quantify
  • Versatile: many application areas

Real-time PCR explained

The first step of all analysis is representative sampling and homogenization. After lysis of the organic cells of food tissue, the DNA will be prepared using different dedicated DNA or RNA preparation kits either for bacteria or viruses.

Your way to automation

Discover the new walk-away solution: Semi-automated nucleic acid preparation for all food and feed samples with the TANBead Maelstrom™ 8 Autostage and the extraction kit SureFast® Mag PREP Food.

The multiplex real-time PCR thermocycler

RIDA®CYCLER is a compact and easy-to-use real-time PCR cycler that allows fast and flexible analysis of your food & feed samples. The user-friendly software enables a fast analysis start of one or more tests simultaneously.

SureFood® PREP Basic and SureFood® Prep Advanced kits are used for solid food and feed from plant or meat origin. For beverages specific DNA preparation kits will be used depending on the matrix, whereas the new QuickGEN line allows a straight forward easy handling.

The modular system of DNA preparation and DNA detection can be used independently. Amplification of the target DNA requires in addition to the relevant kits the use of a suitable thermocycler with two (FAM/HEX) up to 4 (FAM/HEX/ROX/Cy5) detection channels.

Application areas for PCR in food testing


Food allergies can cause severe immunological reactions. In order to protect customers, food products have to be tested for allergenic substances. We offer a wide range of PCR kits for the detection of allergens such as soya, hazelnut, peanut, gluten, almond, celery, sesame, mustard, fish or crustaceans. We also offer multiplex assays for the simultaneous detection of multiple allergens (peanut/hazelnut/walnut and celery/soya/mustard).

Animal speciation

Species specification is of great interest: meat products can be falsified due to incorrect declaration (see horse meat scandal). Another application is the guarantee of religious dietary rules (halal, kosher). Our SureFood® Animal ID product line allows for sensitive testing for pork, beef, horse, donkey, chicken, turkey and other species. With the SureFood® Fish ID product line, we offer a wide range of PCR kits for the identification of fish species.

Beverage spoilage

When producing beverages, the detection of beverage spoilers is crucial. With the GEN-IAL® product line, we offer a wide range of screening kits for the detection of spoilage organisms in beer and wine production, e.g. Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Megasphaera, Pectinatus, Dekkera bruxellensis or Oenococcus oeni. The test kits can be used for in-process control as well as for final product control.


In recent years, the worldwide production of genetically modified food has steadily increased. Since food products, which contain genetically modified organisms (GMO), must be labelled, the demand for sensitive test methods is increasing. Our SureFood® GMO product line allows for qualitative and quantitative detection of GMO – such as genetically modified maize, LibertyLink Rice or Roundup Ready Soya.


Detection of microbiological contamination is one of the main fields of application of PCR in food analysis. Our product line SureFast® detects a wide range of pathogenic bacteria (e.g. Salmonella, Listeria, Legionella, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter), viruses (e.g. Norovirus, Hepatitis and Influenza) as well as spoilage yeast and bacteria.


PCR automation solutions

The RIDA®CYCLER is a magnetic induction real-time PCR cycler ...
TANBead Maelstrom™ 8 Autostage
TANBead Maelstrom™ 8 Autostage
The TANBead Maelstrom™ 8 Autostage is a fully automated operating instrument for nucleic acid purification and isolation...
TANBead Maelstrom™ 4800
TANBead Maelstrom™ 4800
The TANBead Maelstrom™ 4800 is a fully automated operating instrument for nucleic acid purification and isolation using magnetic beads and rods...

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SureFood® ALLERGEN Pine Nut
The SureFood® ALLERGEN Pine Nut is a real-time PCR for the direct, qualitative detection of specific pine nut (Pinus spp.) DNA sequences in food. ...

PCR support

Questions? Tap into our team’s expertise. We’re here to support you and your business throughout the testing process to ensure your success

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