35 CALF News • April | May 2022 • TEXAS FEED FAT CO., INC. P.O. Box 1790 • Durant, Oklahoma 74702 Ted Kirkpatrick, Owner We specialize in Quality Feed Fat and Quality Service. Leaders in the feed fat industry since 1974! With 2 locations to serve you. Call Us Today! TEXAS FEED FAT CO., INC. Durant, Oklahoma Kirk Sehi (580) 924-1890 Hereford, Texas (806) 363-6490 By Patti Wilson Contributing Editor Pushing forward with laser speed, Merck Animal Health is using its DNA TRACEBACK animal traceability platform far beyond the ranch gate. Their latest innovation, DNA TRACEBACK, combines each species’ unique DNA and data analytics that accurately and precisely traces beef, seafood, pork and poultry from farm-to-table. DNA TRACEBACK’s technology verifies the exact origin of meat products so that processors, food service companies and retailers have full lifecycle traceability back to the source of the carcass. Each individual animal is DNA sampled so that in every stage of the production chain – from the farm gate, the processing plant and right through to the restaurant plate – the exact origin of meat is verified. Paul Koffman, executive director for North America, Allflex Livestock Intelligence, a business unit withinMerck Animal Health, explains that Merck Animal Health acquired IdentiGEN, the provider of the DNATRACEBACK technology, in 2020. “The DNA TRACEBACK platform targets the industry’s end product, providing traceability by sampling DNA from both finished product and beef carcasses, and tying it back to live animal identification and monitoring activities and animal home feedlots,” he says. “A sample of each animal’s DNA code is captured at slaughter and assigned a unique barcode number. This DNA number is then linked to the animal and can be traced during the supply chain all the way through to individual cuts of meat served in restaurants,” Koffman says. The consumer then has access to total traceability and validation on their meat purchases, as well as greater transparency, quality and sustainability of food sources. Though this sounds as high tech as one can imagine, updates may include building upon individual monitoring of animal health, including dairy and cow-calf operations. “It has to be a value proposition,” Koffman says. Other potentials for food companies and retailers may include a code on each meat package that may be read with a cell phone, telling the story of the product from birth to plate, or feedlot to plate. Such technology still remains an idea for future consideration. The customer of the DNA TRACEBACK platform is not the cattle producer, but the meat processors, food companies and retailers. Merck Animal Health sees the market as having great potential, delivering an uptake of beef, pork, poultry and seafood by a public that wants to know more about their food. More information may be found through this link: There seems to be no end to the speed and level of today’s technology. Merck Animal Health is commended for their aggressive drive to keep meat on the world’s plate.  Merck Product Verifies Meat Origin