Food and Environment Research Agency Collaboration

Posted on 31 August 2012

Archaeologists in the department are working with scientists at the the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) to analyse gelatine proteins.

31-08-2012 fera_helen_grundy

Archaeologists in the department are working with scientists at the the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) to analyse the proteins in gelatine. The team, lead by Matthew Collins of BioArCh, became involved with the agency when they were developing a test to determine the species origin (pig or cow) of gelatines, which are a common additive to foods. Gelatin is produced from skin and bone collagen and the methods developed to identify ancient bone, antler and leather were repurposed to detect proteins degraded not by time but by the process of gelatin manufacture.  Using the database developed by the BioArCh group in the department, FERA have been analysing a range of food materials and gelatin. For more information see our feature article in the York Press.

Photo credit: Helen Grundy, FERA