Following extensive research and two years of development and rigorous testing, BPEX has introduced a scientifically-based system to enhance the integrity of provenance and traceability of Red Tractor pork.
It is designed to confirm that pork is indeed British if it says so on pack. It is believed to be the first time the system has been applied in the food industry in the UK.
The new system will not only deliver increased trust throughout the supply chain, it provides consumers with an additional layer of confidence in Red Tractor pork at a time when they are more concerned than ever about the integrity of the meat they buy. It means that Red Tractor pork will benefit from one of the most comprehensive traceability checks available to consumers in the UK.
Known as SIRA – Stable Isotope Reference Analysis – the method links pork to its geographical area of production. It has proved to be so robust in trials that it has now been incorporated into the quality assurance schemes operated by the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA). The BMPA assurance schemes are used as part of the Red Tractor standards for pork and pork products.
The SIRA system is founded on a database of four stable isotope ratios extracted from pork samples from known locations throughout the UK. It works by analysing retail samples of pork which can then be compared with the BPEX SIRA database to determine whether they originate from the UK. The probability of each sample matching the database and thus originating in the UK is calculated to provide a probability score on provenance. Any pork labelled as British that has a low probability of matching the database is then subjected to a detailed traceability audit.
Monday September 16, 2013/ BPEX/ United Kingdom.