Detection of pork-DNA in imported chocolate in Bangladesh caused researchers to advocate for tighter guidelines

 Bangladesh is a Muslim-dominated country that imports the majority of its processed foods including chocolate, candies, and ice cream. As a result, halal certification is required not only for meat products but also for processed foods.    

According to a study analyzing 42 imported confectionery samples purchased from the Dhaka area, pork DNA was recently discovered in two confectionery products in Bangladesh. The majority of these samples were not halal certified, nor were they pork-free labeled.    

Chocolate (milk, dark, or flavored), candy, and ice cream were among the imported confectionery samples. They were mainly manufactured in Thailand, India, Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia and UK.    

Using the PCR method, researchers from Bangladesh's Southeast University and Islamic University discovered pork DNA in two samples: Cadbury's chocolate and Mars Skittles’ candy. The porcine cytochrome b gene, a genetic marker for pork DNA that is difficult to degrade in processed foods, was found in the two samples. G.M. Sala Uddin, a lab officer who was in charge of this study, claimed that the contamination was likely caused by the food packaging used, as lubricants and stabilizers may be made from animal derivatives such as pigs. “We found the packaging of most confectionery samples we tested were inappropriately labelled and there were no indications of pork-derived ingredients. We recommend that chocolate sellers should indicate whether their products are pork free or not and buyers should confirm it before their delivery to customers.”, stated Uddin.