JRC has developed and validated a rapid and efficient method for the detection and the quantification of 48 antibiotics in feed. The method is based on emerging technology and is an efficient tool for the compulsory monitoring of undesirable substances in the feed and food chain.
Animal feeding has become an important economic activity and has a clear impact on food safety. Animal feeding stuffs do not only require sufficient quality from a nutritional point of view but must also comply with legal limits regarding contaminants and antimicrobial agents. The latter substances can enter the feed via different paths, for instance when added for therapeutic purposes at authorized level, but also due to cross-contamination in the feed mill and present. The substances may further pass through the food chain to the consumers. In consequence, the use of all veterinary drugs as feed additives, other than coccidiostats and histomonostats, has been banned by the European Commission since 2006 and EU Member States are obliged to establish National Plans to monitor the presence of veterinary drug residues in animals and their products.
The innovative method developed by the JRC will allow Member States' laboratories a rapid, simple, straightforward and reliable control of 48 antimicrobial agents from a wide range of chemical groups/families substances belonging to different classes in complex animal feed materials, in one step. The method is able to detect and quantify these antimicrobial agents at levels as low as 0.05 to 0.1 mg of the antimicrobial agent in 1 kg of feed and is therefore contributing to improve food safety and further protect the European consumer.
Kaklamanos George, Ursula Vincent, Christoph von Holst. Analysis of antimicrobial agents in pig feed by liquid chromatography coupled to orbitrap mass spectrometry, Journal of Chromatography A, 1293 (2013) 60– 74.