Published:14 Oct 2019
F. W. Lee, O. T. W. Li, and W. W. Y. Chum, in DNA Techniques to Verify Food Authenticity: Applications in Food Fraud, ed. M. Burns, L. Foster, and M. Walker, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, pp. 235-254.
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Consumption of Chinese medicinal materials and tonic products is popular among Chinese. Holding the traditional aspiration of “eating-for-healing”, many people in Hong Kong habitually consume Chinese medicinal materials and tonic products for bolstering bodily health. With the recent advances in molecular technology, DNA-based analytical approaches have been rapidly developed for authenticating the species origin of Chinese medicinal materials and tonic products. In this chapter, we introduce the use of several bioinformatics tools to facilitate the selection of DNA markers for species authentication. In particular, our experience of the authentication of the fungal genus Cordyceps and Oviductus Ranae (dried oviduct of the female Chinese brown frog) are shared in detail. Given the great variety and complexity of Chinese medicinal materials, an orthogonal testing scheme combining morphological, chemical and DNA-based methods is a powerful approach to meet the increasing demand for sophisticated authentication of natural medicinal materials.