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Combating the threat of Antibiotic Residues in food

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Antimicrobial resistance caused by veterinary medicines poses risks to human health, but a new, breakthrough testing kit from Dr Ehrenstorfer can help laboratories detect antibiotic residues more quickly and efficiently.

 

Veterinary medicines are used as both a preventive and a cure for a variety of diseases in production animals. Food products sourced from treated animals, may contain residues of these medicines for example, in eggs, meat or milk  A 2019 study by Sachi et al highlighted the use of antimicrobials in animals suggesting that levels of antibiotic use in animals is more than double that of humans. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has developed guidance for milk producers to ensure acceptable standards of hygiene are maintained and that the legal requirements for antibiotic residues are clear. This guidance does not consider instances of contamination through fraud or error therefore testing of food products before they enter the food chain is essential.

 

A 2013 study by Executive Agency for Health and Consumers highlights that in total there are three thousand active pharmaceutical ingredients currently authorised on the EU market and over 4000 (APIs) authorised for use worldwide.

 

The EU lists over 200 pharmacologically active substances and their classification regarding maximum residue limits of veterinary residues permitted in food-producing animals and animal products under regulation (EU) No 37/2010 to control the presence of these substances in the food chain.

 

Likewise, in the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publishes the Green Book which has sections that provides myriad information about animal drugs including trade names, application number, and active ingredient. As of 2019 there were a total of 327 small molecule drugs are listed in the Green Book with around 51% approved for use in animals and humans and 49% approved for use in animals only.

 

Build-up of these substances in the food chain can enable the development of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria which perpetuates the need for stronger and more potent antimicrobial drugs.

 

A 2018 report by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) summarised veterinary residue monitoring data in live animals and animal products collected over a 10-year period. Many samples were collected but the majority originated from inside the EU where there are strict controls on the use of veterinary drugs in animals.

 

·         The percentage of samples that exceeded the maximum levels was 0.3%

·         Comparable to the previous 10 years (0.25%-0.37 %)

·         A total of 657,818 samples were checked by 28 EU member states.

 

The report highlighted the need for closer monitoring of products imported into the EU with 0.4% of samples (3,022 sample size) identified as non-compliant and, of the total samples, 0.13% were found to contain unauthorised substances. Outside the EU however, Drug products are not always used for therapeutic reasons – with their potential for use as growth promoters (hormones, beta-agonists, etc) particularly in countries where regulations or monitoring are not as strict as the EU It has also been observed that some countries manage two food control systems, for products intended for domestic and international markets. This enables them to use veterinary medicines more freely in the domestic market. Therefore, screening of animal products entering the food chain can help to control the number of potentially harmful food products.

 

Veterinary drugs are one of the most chemically diverse group of compounds and metabolites, so it is technically challenging to develop a single multi-residue detection method to cover them. The number of sample preparation approaches is also diverse, with different sample extraction and purification procedures needed for each matrix of interest.

 

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Most modern test methods are based upon LC-MS/MS, sometimes in conjunction with GC-MS/MS, to provide a high sensitivity and selectivity for a wide scope of chemical classes within a single multi-residue test method. The time and level of expertise needed to prepare a stable multi-residue reference material is the biggest challenge that laboratories encounter.

 

To ease the burden for laboratories, LGC Dr. Ehrenstorfer has developed PharmaVetResiMix to enable rapid screening of 59 analytes for liquid chromatography (LC) in just four ampoules. These solutions can be combined in just three minutes to create a single solution providing a working standard for the day. Calibration, takes just 30 minutes, optimising a laboratory’s efficiency and analytical performance.

 

You can extend the scope of Dr Ehrenstorfer’s PharmaVetResiMix with two additional analyte groups, 10 Tetracyclines and 23 Beta lactams.

 

Designed for optimal elution and maximum stability, this product is the first of its kind. A mass screening and spiking method-validation product that doesn't sacrifice quality or reliability in providing you with a solution to increase efficiency and accuracy in your analytical processes.

 

To find out more visit www.lgcstandards.com/drehrenstorfer 

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