BLAIR, NEB. — Officials with Imperial Wagyu Beef announced plans to utilize a DNA-based traceability system as a means of enhancing value for its foodservice and retail customers. Using technology developed by genetic researchers at the Trinity College Dublin, Identigen, Inc., based in Lawrence, Kan., is providing the system to trace Imperial’s Kobe-style, premium beef. The technology is also used to ensure the origin and verify the authenticity of marketing claims of pork products.

"This DNA-based traceability system is the key to helping us assure consumers of the complete and accurate traceability of each piece of our beef back to the authentic Wagyu cattle raised at our Imperial farms," said Lawrence Adams, president of Imperial.

As part of Identigen's DNA TraceBack system, DNA samples will be taken from Imperial’s cattle at the processing plant and sent to a lab in Lawrence where the genetic data will be stored. The technology is marketed to processors as a means of verifying product claims in addition to reliably tracking products in the event of recalls or other food safety incidents.

According to the company, Identigen’s technology is one of 36 systems approved under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Process Verified Program.