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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Food Animal Metabolism Research » Research » Research Project #438774

Research Project: Detection and Fate of Environmental Chemical and Biological Residues and their Impact on the Food Supply

Location: Food Animal Metabolism Research

2021 Annual Report

1. Allergens in ready-to-eat foods. It is estimated that 30,000 emergency room visits, and 150 deaths occur annually within the U.S. due to food allergens. Further, 30-40% all food recalls in the U.S are due to undeclared allergens. The incidence of undeclared allergens, or undetected allergens in pre-cooked frozen meals or meals ready-to-eat (MREs) was unknown. ARS scientists in Fargo, North Dakota, utilized individual tests and an immunoassay capable of detecting 7 common food allergens simultaneously (7-plex assay) to screen meat or poultry containing MREs and frozen meals for allergen content. A low number of undeclared allergens were detected in the surveyed food items, but both assay methods performed poorly for the detection of allergens in MREs. These data indicate that product labeling of frozen foods is mostly accurate, however, better methods would be beneficial for the detection of allergens in both frozen meals and MREs.

2. Fate of sodium chlorite in broilers chickens. Sodium chlorite has been proposed as a pre-harvest feed ingredient because of its activity in against several important pathogens. Practical use of sodium chlorite in poultry feed, however, is precluded by the dearth of data describing the presence or absence of chlorite-related chemical residues in meat products of poultry. ARS scientists in Fargo, North Dakota, conducted in vitro and in vivo residue studies which demonstrated that chlorite is transformed in gastric fluids and blood mostly to chloride ion, a major component of table salt. Chlorate, a minor but stable transformation product of chlorite, was either absent from edible meat, or present in very low quantities when broilers were fed sodium chlorite at very high feed levels. These data suggest that residues of sodium chlorite would not be a major obstacle for its development as a tool for pathogen mitigation in poultry production.

Review Publications
Mahdi, O.S., Greenlee, K.J., Rose, E., Rinehart, J.P., Smith, D.J. 2021. The sporicidal activity of chlorine dioxide gas on Paenibacillus larvae spores. Journal of Apicultural Research.
Shelver, W.L., McGarvey, A.M., Yeater, K.M. 2021. Performance of allergen testing in a survey of frozen meals and meals ready-to-eat (MREs). Food Additives & Contaminants. 38:1249-1259.
Banerjee, A., Shelver, W.L. 2020. Micro- and nanoplastic induced cellular toxicity in mammals: A review. Science of the Total Environment. 755:142518.