The global meat industry is a multi-billion-dollar business contributing over $85 billion to the US economy alone annually. Globally it is valued at $800 billion and as such, it is one of the biggest industries in the world.
With its already strong position and an ever growing demand for meat products the market shows no sign of slowing down. There are continued demands set on producers to provide not only more meat, but meat at a higher quality. Public awareness on issues such as drug residues, animal rights, food safety and antibiotic resistance is on the rise and as such producers and processors are more and more required to meet stringent requirements.
With the increasing demand on quantity and quality the industry faces many challenges and one the key areas of interest in this production chain is the monitoring of residues.
Residues in food relates to the residual amount of a particular compound either administered to an animal as a veterinary treatment or a naturally occurring compound present in food for human consumption.
There are a number of potential issues that can arise from contaminated feed and it is important for producers to ensure that animal feed has little or no trace of residues of mycotoxins, growth promoters or veterinary drugs.
Veterinary drugs are often added to feed to be used as a method of treating livestock, producers therefore must be sure of the dosage to ensure that withdrawal periods are correctly adhered to. Mycotoxins may also be present in feed due to a number of environmental factors, this can have a negative impact of the livestock.
The Mycotoxin Threat
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by fungi, commonly known as moulds, which can have a harmful effect on humans and livestock. These moulds are of interest to producers because they have the potential for significant economic losses due to how they impact human health, animal productivity and international trading.
Mycotoxins can be present in a wide variety of foods and feeds and are a particular threat in areas with climates of high temperature and humidity. They can enter the food or feed chain through contaminated crops, in particular cereals, poultry meat and kidneys, pig kidneys and pork sausages. Contamination may also occur post-harvest during storage, transport, and processing stages of the food or feed supply chain.
The establishment of mycotoxin limits and regulations have been set by multiple food agencies worldwide. For example the EU 2002-32 Directive sets maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for substances that are present in, or on, animal feed that have the potential to pose danger to animal or human health, to the environment, or could have an undesirable affect to livestock production.
One type of livestock that can be significantly impacted by mycotoxins are pigs. Pig feed contaminated with mycotoxins can cause serious risks to pig health.
For example, Aflatoxins consumed by swine can expose non-clinical characteristics with low level exposure (20 to 200 ppb), inducing symptoms displayed such as feed avoidance, gastrointestinal disturbances, paleness and slower growth. It can also suppress the immune system and cause young piglets to become more susceptible to bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases. With prolonged exposure causing a greater risk of cancer, liver damage and jaundice. High concentrations of aflatoxin (1,000 to 5,000 ppb) result in acute effects, including death. It is a genotoxic carcinogen and suitably its levels have been set as low as realistically possible in complete feeding stuffs for pigs and poultry with a maximum content value of 0.02.
Zearalenone is another mycotoxin that can have a negative impact on livestock. Produced by a strain of Fusarium graminearum it has been listed under the Directive with a guidance value. It has an estrogeneous action and is significantly toxic to the reproductive system of animals with the potential to cause rectal and vaginal prolapses in gilts (young sows). Zearalenone has been allocated a suggested guidance value of 0.1ppm in complementary and complete feeding stuffs for piglets and gilts and 0.25ppm in feedstuffs for sows and fattening pigs.
With the risk from multiple Mycotoxins in animal feed it is important to be able to detect dangerous levels of each listed in the EU Directive in order to reduce instances of damage to animal health.
Growth promoters are often used in the meat industry to increase yield of livestock, an important tool considering the increased demand on quantity from the food chain. Some of these growth promoters however are known to have a negative impact on both animal and human health.
The presence of anabolic steroids including beta agonists such as Clenbuterol and Ractopamine, as well as other veterinary drugs is under a strict monitoring program in meat and animal feed to prevent these negative impacts.
Growth promoting drugs are used to induce weight but can have various health concerns such as such as hospitalisation with reversible symptoms of increased heart rate, muscular tremors, headache, nausea, fever, and chills.
The potential human health risks highlight the importance of complete food safety testing before a food product reaches the public.
Due to the nature of the conditions livestock is generally kept in, there is a high potential for infection and spread of viruses. Producers need to be aware and proactive in treating any veterinary disease that arises.
One such disease that can be an issue is coccidiosis which is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract. This disease can be spread by contact with infected faeces, or the ingestion of infected tissues by other animals. Coccisiostats are potent drugs which are widely used within veterinary practice to treat coccidiosis, mainly in feed additives. Chickens are susceptible to at least 11 species of coccidia that causes coccidiosis therefore creating an importance to treat for. Coccisiostat residues that occur in high levels within food for human consumption can be unsafe and can have negative effects on pre-existing coronary conditions/diseases. These residues can pass through the meat tissue and eggs.
With a variety of potential residues to be detected and a need for accurate results many producers are using Randox Food Diagnostics technology to carry out sample analysis.
With the development of the patented Biochip Array Technology Randox have consolidated the testing of multiple residues down to one sample which means time and cost saving for the meat industry. For example, with one Biochip a meat producer’s laboratory could test for 9 different growth promoter residues.
The technology centres on the Biochip, a 9mm2 ceramic chip which acts as the reaction well where samples are placed, requiring little technical expertise for preparation. Each chip is spotted with the antibodies required to detect the individual analytes being tested for and can accommodate up to 43 analytes. Food laboratories can then detect 43 different residues with one test.
The biochip works on the Evidence Investigator (Semi-Automated) and Evidence MultiSTAT(Automated) analysers. These analysers are used as the imaging stations for the biochips. Each spotted test site sends out a chemiluminescent signal which is detected by the analyser, processed, quantified and validated by the instrument software.
With a simple process, fast method and trusted results many of the world’s top meat producers are investing in Biochip Array Technology to ensure the safety and quality of their products.
For more information please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The potential presence of drug residue contaminants in food products destined for human consumption is an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the industry but what are the main challenges facing the industry to tackle this potential issue?
Drug residue contaminants in food products is a discussion that involves the global community but each individual country or trade bloc has their own protocols and regulations relating to the control and monitoring of residues. The different legislations are designed to protect the general public as well as the food industry interests in their individual countries. Any business that wishes to sell their products within other countries or regions must meet their legislative requirements relating to drug residues. These differences in regulations have increased the need for increased dialogue on the issue as well as the implementation of effective monitoring systems.
The industry must deal with the potential of residues from antibiotics and growth promoting hormones entering the food chain. This will involve ensuring correct dosage per animal and also adhering to withdrawal periods set for their region. The second issue the industry faces is the stigma received from the misuse of these antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.
While there is a potential for misuse it should always be noted that a producer’s main concern should always be animal health, which leads to a quality end product. The use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of the animal and to reduce the potential knock on effect of untreated diseases which could create a downturn on yield. Growth promoting hormones are used to increase this yield also but should never be done so at the expense of a safe end product.
Residues from particular drugs in food produce can have serious implications for human health. As such many countries have set Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or tolerances for these residues in food. The Maximum Residue Limit is the maximum concentration of a residue that can be present in a product from an animal or animal by product intended for the food supply. These MRLs mean that it is required by law in the enforcing countries that any product in the food chain cannot contain residue levels that are harmful to human health above these limits.
There has been controversy over measures to tackle drug residues in foods as there are no internationally accepted standards for many drugs. Ractopamine in particular has caused trade disputes as it is permitted in food production in some countries like the US & Canada, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and over 100 other countries have banned its use.
The real challenge the food industry faces is ensuring their testing methods are effective and reliable to ensure the safety of a variety of end products. To name a few of these diverse products we can look at the dairy, meat, seafood, feed and honey markets.
The dairy industry is under constant scrutiny and pressure to constantly produce high volumes of milk whilst maintaining a superior standard of quality in their dairy products. As part of the production process various contaminants are administered to cattle in an effort to systematically treat various infectious diseases and maintain a healthy herd. A direct consequence of this is the requirement of routine monitoring and testing within farms and dairy processors to ensure that the levels of contaminants in milk are within legal regulations not exceeding Maximum Residue Limits and that unauthorised substances are not found at any level in milk.
Testing can be conducted at several points during the production process. Firstly, farm level testing can be carried out to screen milk from cows that have been separated from the herd and undergone antibiotic treatment. Secondly, the dairy processor is required to conduct testing both onsite taking samples from tankers and retrospective testing as a method of internal surveillance to ensure the milk supplied from several farms is within global regulatory limits. Thirdly, retailers can test the processed milk end product to guarantee the milk is antibiotic free before it’s added to supermarket shelves for consumers.
Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity in developing countries. Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses.
Growth promoters, which are tested for under the NRCP, are hormonal and antibiotic substances that may be used in food producing animals for growth promotion in livestock animals thus increasing the production of muscle meat and the reduction of fat. The type of growth promoter used is dependent on the animal species and mode of rearing with steroid growth promoters used for beef cattle and antibiotic growth promoters, which are usually added to feedstuffs, such as the coccidiostats used in the poultry industry and chlortetracycline used in the porcine industry. The rapid speed of meat production calls for the need to test for drug residues frequently to prevent them from ending up in the food chain.
The global aquaculture industry has grown steadily over the past five decades, increasing at an average rate of 3.2%. However, this growth has come at a cost, with the industry facing many new challenges. Farmed seafood is often treated with medicated feeds which contain antibiotics such as leucomalachite green and nitrofurans for example to prevent from disease spreading, they are also exposed to other harmful residues used to treat algae etc. within the ‘pens’ where they are kept.
The FAO (2012) reported that 38% of fish produced globally is exported, highlighting the imbalances in regional supply and the changing tastes of the global consumer. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry.
The global animal feed processing market is estimated at US$21.61 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$ 26.62 Billion by 2023. The market is driven by factors such as the rising awareness of feed nutrition and health, technological advancements in the equipment industry and increase in the demand for feed around the world. Medicated feeds containing veterinary are often used to help prevent disease within livestock and there are MRLs for feed which has created the need for testing as high levels of residues can have an effect on livestock health and also transfer through to meat products for human consumption. With humidity levels rising in recent years there has been an influx in the level of mycotoxins found within feed and cereals. These toxins are fungal and can affect both livestock and human health for example mycotoxicoses which is a disease which can affect the respiratory system. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. These factors have made it necessary for feed and cereals to be tested for both drug residues and mycotoxins to ensure that they do not end up within the food chain.
The global honey market is growing at a rapid pace and the global consumption of honey is to reach 2.5 million tones by 2022. This growth is driven for consumers demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners over cane sugar. There is also a growing awareness of the health and healing benefits of honey which is driving the demand for the use of honey for medicinal use, manuka honey sales continue to grow for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The rapid rise in demand for honey outweighs the amount that can be produced in a natural form globally due to a decline in the number of bees. This has influenced the quality of honey being produced as some producers take to diluting natural honey with high-fructose corn syrups in order to supply the demand. There is a requirement for keepers to treat bee colonies with antibiotics to prevent CCD and other diseases such as varroa mites and there is a chance that these harmful drug residues can be transferred through to the end product ‘natural’ honey. The use of antibiotic drugs in apiculture is globally restricted and there are no MRLs set for antibiotics in honey as it a natural product and needs to be antibiotic free, this has cause the need for testing both for drug residues and the overall quality of the honey being produced.
Due to the requirement to use a variety of drug treatments in the food industry and also the potential economic benefits to be gained from the use of growth promoters, there will continue to be use in animal production. However, as analytical methods of detection become more sensitive, producers are given further options for testing.
The surveillance for the potential presence of these residues of veterinary substances is regulated by the EU Directive 86/469/EEC. This directive outlines the guidelines for sampling and testing within a residue monitoring programme.
The requirement to meet these standard and the MRLs and detection levels outlined in the legislation has created a need for analytical methods to become more sensitive to ensure correct analysis. On some occasions MRL’s have been lowered which require a technology sensitive enough to detect very low concentrations in a sample.
One such screening method that is commonly used is the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods, which work well for testing and providing accurate results.
Randox Food have developed another method of analysis using the Evidence Investigator which uses similar methodology to ELISA methods. The analyser uses biochip array technology (BAT) to perform simultaneous quantitative detection of multiple analytes from a single sample and can be used across multiple matrix types including the products produced by the industries mentioned. The core technology is the Randox biochip, this contains an array of discrete test regions containing immobilized antibodies specific to the drug residues under test.
These methods are rapid, reliable, and sensitive so are able to detect residues in very small concentrations. The Randox methods are developed in line with EU Directive 86/469/EEC and as such are an effective testing method for multiple areas of the food industry.
For further information please contact the Randox Food Diagnostics team by emailing: email@example.com
Drug residues in milk present major concern for farmers, dairy processors, cheese manufacturers, authorities and consumers due to the potential public health and industrial implications. Through the potential inappropriate antimicrobial use in animals producing product for human consumption, antibiotic-resistant organisms can enter the food supply or can spread to various components of the ecosystem. For consumer protection, regulatory limits have been set for the majority of compounds.
Randox Food Diagnostics provides screening technology to monitor the levels of these potentially harmful compounds including the Infiniplex for Milk Array available on the Evidence Investigator and Evidence Multistat analysers.
Using the Randox Food technology the user can identify 130 analytes from a 200µl sample of raw milk and follows this simple process to results:
- Pipette the sample directly onto the MultiSTAT biochip
- Insert into the Evidence MultiSTAT
- Press Play and follow the on-screen prompts
- Results appear on screen in under 20 minutes
Developed to provide an easy to use option for the user, the Infiniplex Array for Multistat can be used by anyone to ensure rapid on-site testing within the dairy industry.
The InfiniPlex test menu is 98% compliant with EU regulations and screens for additional contaminants including; antiparasitic, anti-inflammatories, non-steroidal and unauthorised substances from one sample of raw milk, creating a better end product for the processor and end user.
To find out more about InfiniPlex contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In the month of May alone, over 20 cases of feed and cereal based products have been rejected at EU borders after testing positive for aflatoxins with a risk decision level marking of ‘serious’, countries of origin include; Turkey, Egypt, Gambia, U.S, Indonesia, India, Azerbaijan and Spain.
The European Union have set tolerance levels for Aflatoxin B1 at 2 parts per billion (ppb) and total aflatoxins at 4ppb for nuts, cereals and dried fruits.
Aflatoxins are a mycotoxin produced by a fungus and thrive in hot and humid climates. Aflatoxin B1 is the most prevalent among food products and commonly occur among cereals (including wheat, barley, rice and corn) oilseeds (peanuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts) spices, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products.
Screening for Mycotoxins
There are various screening methods available for mycotoxins in food, but few offer the choice of screening for multiple mycotoxins from one sample. Randox Food Diagnostics has created patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT), an immunoassay ELISA based method, to save the feed and cereal industry time and money on testing.
The Myco Array kit range can screen for 3-10 mycotoxins simultaneously from a single sample and depending on the users testing requirements, customisable kits are available.
For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact email@example.com
Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by certain fungi. There are many such compounds, but only a few of them are regularly found in food, farmed crops and end product animal feeds. Since they are produced by fungi, mycotoxins are associated with diseased or mouldy crops. Those that do occur in food may have an impact on livestock and the health of humans and have been associated with conditions such as asthma, respiratory infections and chronic fatigue. The main causes of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp, damaged or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions.
The formation of mycotoxins is climate-dependent, with temperature and moisture levels directly impacting fungal growth. Evidence shows that climate change is causing increasing temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. Additionally, extreme weather incidents have increased. As a consequence of these changes, increased levels of mycotoxins have been observed in some European crops.
Mycotoxins occur, and exert their toxic effects, in extremely small quantities in foodstuffs. Their identification and quantitative assessment therefore generally require sophisticated sampling, sample preparation, extraction, and analytical techniques. Under practical storage conditions, the aim should be to monitor for the occurrence of fungi. If fungi cannot be detected then there is unlikely to be any mycotoxin contamination. The presence of fungi indicates the potential for mycotoxin production, and the need to consider the fate of the batch of commodity affected.
In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample. Within farmed crops Randox Food Diagnostics provide testing for different matrices such as: Maize silage, maize, Barley, grass seed, rice, wheat, oats, soya, DDGS, rapeseed as well as livestock and pet foods including premixed feed.
Randox Food Diagnostics offer a mycotoxin screening array on Biochip called Myco 10 which can detect 10 mycotoxins per sample including aflatoxins G1/G2 & B1/B2, ergot alkaloids, fumonisins, paxilline, ochratoxin A, diacetoxyscirpenol, deoxynivalenol (DON), T2 toxin & zeralenone. Also offered is a range of ELISA test kits including ergot alkaloids.
Randox Food Diagnostics is a regular participant in the FAPAS proficiency testing scheme which provides an independent check of a laboratory’s procedures to ensure the delivery of quality results. To read our study on: Biochip Array Technology for the reliable performance of multi-mycotoxin determination in animal feed materials” click here: http://www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com/docs/default-source/randox-fd/posters/bat-mycotoxins-in-animal-feed-materials.pdf?sfvrsn=4
Mycotoxin contamination is a real and constant threat for feed and animal compound producers globally. Recently the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontairo stated that the different geographical locations of cattle mean between 10 and 20 mycotoxins can be present at once. This is a result of extreme weather patterns across the US with excess moisture and drought in different areas causing an increase in the frequency of mycotoxins, creating challenges in protecting livestock from ingesting contaminated feed.
The most common mycotoxins found are Aflatoxin, Fusarium, Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone. Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus, a tropical fungus that thrives in high humidity and affects an animal’s liver, causing cancer in more extreme cases. Fusarium can develop in most temperate climates across the U.S and Canada. Fusarium poses a higher threat than other toxins as there are hundreds of different chemical structures to analyse to enable identification of the Fusarium.
Difficulties also arise in finding an analytical method sensitive enough to detect mycotoxins at low levels of contamination as small amounts can still lead to fatal results in horses, dogs and cats.
To prevent mycotoxin infection in feed, processors can implement a routine screening procedure with the help of Randox Food Diagnostics. Randox Food offer a multiplex screening system for the simultaneous detection of up to 10 of the world’s most prevalent mycotoxins including: Paxilline, Fumonisins (part of the Fusarium group), Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin G1/G2, Aflatoxin B1/B2, Ergot Alkaloids, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Deoxynivalenol, T2 Toxin and Zearalenone. All compounds are screened at low limits of detection using Biochip Array Technology.
Biochip Array Technology is a patented technology created by Randox to facilitate the detection of contaminants and drug residues with over 20 evaluated matrices in feed (see full list below).
|Animal Feed (Complete)||Millet||Sunflower|
|Cotton Seed||Rye||Feed Pea|
|Distillers Grain||Silage||Vetches (Vica)|
Bees and other pollinators are vital to three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in serious decline in recent decades. The destruction of wild habitats, disease and widespread pesticide use are all important factors.
Global honey production is projected to reach 2.4 million tons by 2022 this is driven by a growth in consumers demand for a natural and healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners, a rising awareness over the benefits of using honey as a sweetener over cane sugar and the realisation of the antibacterial and inflammatory properties of manuka honey.
The decline in the numbers of bees and rising demand from consumers for natural honey products has created a market for “illegal honey” being produced to supply the demand. Producers ‘cut’ their honey with additives like high-fructose corn syrup and brand it as natural honey, affecting purity and reducing cost.
‘Honey laundering’ has also become an issue, with countries such as China using non FDA approved chemicals within beekeeping and being non-compliant to regulations causing their honey to be banned from entering the USA. To get around this, Chinese honey is being shipped into countries such as Vietnam where it is then re labelled and moved into the USA with a new country of origin on the label. This has created the need for a reliable and accurate way to test honey globally.
In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample. Tests for honey include a vast range of antimicrobials such as Quinolones, Streptomycin, Chloramphenicol, Nitrofurans and more. Randox Food Diagnostics are also releasing a pesticides array in early 2018. Also offered are a range of ELISA test kits.
Alongside the evidence Investigator Randox Food Diagnostics developed the RX misano for enzymatic analysis of honey. The RX misano is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural) & colouration, with sucrose coming in 2018.
Randox Food Diagnostics will be attending Bee Happy Expo in Bulgaria from 1st – 4th March 2018 Stop by booth 25 or catch our presentation on Saturday 3rd March at 14:30 to learn more about our product offering for honey.
For more information visit the Randox Food Diagnostics website at: http://www.randoxfood.com/matrices/honey
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Honey naturally contains a small amount of enzymes which can vary widely by floral source and region. These enzymes play an important role by contributing to functional properties of honey, making it a unique ingredient that is far more complex than other sweeteners.
According to the EU Honey Directive 2001/110/EC, certain composition criteria must be determined for honeys intended for human consumption. In order to achieve this, the most modern enzymatic analyser in the industry, the RX misano, is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF and colouration.
Designed with the user in mind, the RX misano incorporates a responsive touch screen display, test menu personalisation and the ability to upload new parameters via USB. With an increase in automatic features, the RX misano also guarantees the precision and accuracy of results, improving the overall efficiency and versatility of enzymatic honey analysis.
The RX misano for honey suits a wide variety of users from bee keepers, to large honey producers/packagers and QA laboratories. It’s table top size allows it to be very versatile in different locations and needs very little maintenance from the user. The user-friendly interface and simple sample preparations means there is no need for the user to have had previous lab experience to run honey samples with the analyser.
For a summary of the benefits of the RX misano see below.
7” responsive touch screen display, favourites menu, on screen prompts, the ability to export data into excel and import new menus.
With the ability to automatically calculate results, the RX misano leaves less chance for human error.
Customisable test menus
As the RX misano for honey test menu continues to grow, users can simply upload new parameters to the machine via USB.
Results are quantitative and produced within +/- 1% of UKAS accredited reference materials, boasting increased accuracy compared to alternative methods.
Reduced foot print
With a smaller footprint than standard spectrophotometers, the RX misano is suitable for laboratories of all sizes.
Excellent thermal performance
The RX misano heats to 37°C in less than 30 seconds and cools from 37°C to 25°C in less than 1 minute.
For more information on the RX misano or any of our other honey testing options please email us at: email@example.com.
Pet Food companies worldwide are working towards constantly improving and maximising the quality of their product. The problematic topic of mycotoxin contamination in pet feed is quickly becoming a major cause for concern. This is due to the risk they pose for animal health and with the increasing prevalence of mycotoxins globally the focus is on pet food companies to meet EU and FDA regulations and maximise the quality of their product.
What are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring metabolites that are produced by certain moulds and with the ability to develop and grow on a variety of crops they can affect large amounts of feed and increasingly, pet food. If a sample tests positive even for low levels of contamination the toxins are still strong enough to cause illness in animals, and if low levels are consumed over a long period of time this can result in chronic illnesses including; cancer, organ damage and neurological disorders.
The main mycotoxins of concern in pet food are;
- Deoxynivalenol (DON)
- Fumonisins (FUM)
- Zearalenone (ZEN)
- T-2 Toxin
Contamination can occur in any country around the world and at any stage of production. Herein lies the issue of how to prevent mycotoxin pollution, to tackle the issue head on and work towards a mycotoxin free product is the joint responsibility of feed producers, supply chain partners and quality control laboratories ensuring the complete safety of the product.
How can you tell if an animal has ingested pet food contaminated with mycotoxins?
In terms of animal health, mycotoxins can cause a variety of problems. Severity and symptoms can vary from animal to animal but general symptoms include; hyperactivity, vomiting, high temperature and loss of coordination. If you suspect your pet has been affected by mycotoxins you must bring them to the vet for immediate treatment.
The European Union currently regulate all the mycotoxins listed above and are subject to maximum or recommended residue limits. In the US, FDA regulations are limited to aflatoxins, DON and fumonisins, see table below for FDA regulations. If mycotoxin levels in feed fail to meet FDA standards, mass amounts of feed may need to be destroyed as grain producers are prohibited from mixing contaminated feed with clean feed to reduce the mycotoxin levels.
|Immature Animals||Aflatoxins||Corn/ peanut/ other ingredients||20 ppb|
|Adult Pets||Aflatoxins||Corn/ peanut/ cottonseed meal/ other ingredients||20 ppb|
|DON||Grain/ grain byproducts, not to exceed 40% of diet||5 ppm|
|Fumonisins||Corn/ corn byproducts, not to exceed 50% of the diet||10 ppm|
How do we tackle the problem?
Safe, reliable screening solutions for different variations of mycotoxins are available that can ensure only mycotoxin free feed is produced. Randox Food Diagnostics have created mycotoxin screening platforms as a response to increased levels of mycotoxins being found in feed globally.
The platforms use patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) so pet food producers can test for multiple toxins from a single sample. Randox Food Diagnostics have a range of mycotoxin Biochip Arrays available with customised arrays available to suit the specific screening needs of certain producers. Each Biochip format uses a straightforward extraction process with a 50µl sample of feed, available tests include; Fumonisins, Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin G1/G2, Aflatoxin B1, Paxiline, Ergot Alkaloids, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Deoxynivalenol, T2 Toxin and Zearalenone.
For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Improving global dairy standards is the focus for Randox Food Diagnostics, which is demonstrating its latest advancement – the ‘InfiniPlex for Milk’ – at the 2017 World Dairy Summit. Over 1000 international delegates are expected to attend the event being held in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall between 30th October to 3rd November.
With maintaining consumer confidence in the safety and integrity of dairy products featuring as one of the key topics at this year’s summit, the Northern Ireland-based company is keen to showcase how it can help producers get an edge in the market through ensuring food safety.
At the International Dairy Foundation’s annual conference event Randox Food will be showcasing the InfiniPlex, an innovative system which tests for 130 restricted drugs from one sample, such as antibiotics, non-steroidial anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic drug residues. This is the most comprehensive array on the market and achieves 98% compliance with EU regulations.
The Infiniplex also identifies a number of drug compounds which are not on the EU’s regulated list but which are unsuitable for human consumption. Using this multiplex system ensures that any Randox-tested dairy product will be the safest on the shelf.
Dr FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“It is our aim to ensure that dairy producers have access to the latest and most comprehensive milk safety screening technologies. The Infiniplex for Milk is the world’s first screening technology that ensures dairy processors are compliant with regulations. By meeting its complex needs, InfiniPlex is changing the face of the global dairy industry.”
David Ferguson, Global Business Manager for Randox Food Diagnostics, added;
“Standard industry practice means the primary residues for which screening is carried out is usually limited to two certain varieties of antibiotics. The InfiniPlex for Milk provides a unique insight into the specific combination of drug compounds detected in a single sample offering drug discrimination that allows the user to see what commercially available drug was administered at animal level. Using our multiplex testing offers the global milk industry the most comprehensive product for the analysis of veterinary drug residues in food, protecting the food industry and the consumer.”
The International Dairy Federation World Dairy Summit takes place in the Waterfront Hall. Randox Food Diagnostics can be found at Booth 5.
For further information about Randox Food Diagnostics milk testing, please visit: http://www.randoxfood.com/Matrices/Milk
For any further questions please contact Randox PR by phoning 028 9445 1016 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com