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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Food Animal Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #191045


item Huwe, Janice

Submitted to: USDA-MOST Food Safety/Ag Processing Workshop
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2005
Publication Date: 9/20/2005
Citation: Huwe, J.K. 2005. Modern analytical methods for chemical residue detection. Proceedings of MOST-USDA Workshop on Agricultural Products Processing and Food Safety, Sept. 21-24, 2005, Beijing, China, p. 391.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Improvements in instrumentation and methodology in the past decade have made the detection of chemical residues in foods not only faster but also less expensive and more sensitive. These modern analytical tools provide an efficient and affordable means to monitor the food supply for chemical residues and, thereby, enforce regulatory limits, enhance trade, provide current data, update risk assessments, protect humans and the environment, and appease consumer concerns. Examples of these modern techniques include the “QuEChERS” method for sample cleanup, immuno-based rapid screening assays for pesticides and drugs, and detection methods approaching the part per quadrillion level for environmental contaminants such as dioxins. The “QuEChERS” method (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) can purify over 200 pesticides from various food matrices in a matter of minutes using only 12 mL of organic solvent. The isolated pesticides are amenable to either GC- or LC-MS analysis. A biosensor and an ELISA (Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) screening test were developed from a monoclonal antibody against the growth promoter ractopamine. Both assays were more sensitive than the traditional HPLC method (low ppb range), did not require any sample cleanup for the matrix tested (urine), and had a higher throughput rate than the traditional method. While the cost of dioxin analysis in foods is still high ($600/sample), automated cleanup methods have reduced the amount of time and man hours needed to prepare samples and, therefore, costs have decreased. Modern mass spectrometers are capable of detecting these environmental contaminants to the sub-ppt level, a sensitivity which is needed as the levels in foods and the environment decline.