This document describes a procedure for the identification of single bivalves to the level of genus or species.
The identification of bivalve species is carried out by PCR amplification of a segment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene ,  followed by sequencing of the PCR products and subsequent sequence comparison with entries in databases . The methodology allows the identification of a large number of commercially important bivalve species.
This method has been successfully validated on raw mussels, however, laboratory experience is available that it can also be applied to processed, e.g. cold smoked, hot smoked, salted, frozen, cooked, fried, deep-fried samples.
This document is usually unsuitable for the analysis of highly processed foods, e.g. tins of mussels, with highly degraded DNA where the fragment lengths are not sufficient for amplification of the targets. Furthermore, it is not applicable for complex seafood products containing mixtures of two or more bivalve species.