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AOAC’s Test Method for Detecting Veterinary Drug Residues in Foods

AOAC INTERNATIONAL has approved a new First Action Official Methods of Analysis SM that will effectively screen veterinary residues in animal food products. About 154 veterinary drugs can be screened through this method

AOAC’s Test Method for Detecting Veterinary Drug Residues in Foods
AOAC’s Test Method for Detecting Veterinary Drug Residues in Foods

which has been developed by scientists at Nestlé Research (Lausanne, Switzerland) The confirmatory testing method was approved on April 24, 2020, during AOAC’s Analytical Methods Week. It will facilitate safety testing of products in the global marketplace.

There are more than 200 compounds from veterinary drugs that pose a potential health risk to consumers and which are regulated both at the national and international level. Regulations either have maximum residue limits (MRL) for these residues or they ban them completely. While there are available confirmatory methods based on liquid chromatography mass spectrometry for monitoring these substances, but their scope of food products is limited. There was therefore, a need for a reliable analytical solution to monitor these substances in all kinds of food commodities.

The method uses liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry approach for screening and confirming 105 antibiotic, 41 antiparasitic, 5 anti-inflammatory agents, and 3 tranquilizers in milk  meat, and fish-based ingredients and processed products like skimmed milk powder, fat-filled milk powder, whey protein, lactose, casein, infant formula, infant cereals, and baby foods, among others.The method was evaluated against SMPR 2018.010 which details the criteria needed for a valid screening and identification method for regulated veterinary drug residues in food.

The new method of food analysis will provide the food companies and regulators an efficient pass/fail reliable screening. Those samples that are found suspect after screening, can then be analysed for quantitation in a cost-effective manner across a broad range of matrices. The screening tool is appropriate for the global supply chain that includes not just raw materials such as milk, but also other milk products like milk powders that are heavily traded worldwide.

The food industry has often found it a challenge to control veterinary drug residues because of the large number of drugs that are administered to animals, the diverse range of animals as well as food products derived from animals. Besides, the international regulatory systems are quite complex. Therefore, this multi-residue laboratory testing method is being seen as a milestone in the veterinary drug residue analytical community especially as it has received the AOAC’s Official Method designation. Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL are microbiological and chemical analysis procedures that have undergone rigorous formal validation by AOAC INTERNATIONAL.

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