Waters announced it has developed a highly sensitive LC/MS/MS method to determine nitrofuran metabolites in food animal tissue. This technique allows food safety officials to accurately screen for nitrofurans in imported foods while food animal product exporters can ensure their exports meet inspection requirements before shipping, minimizing economic loss from rejected shipments.
Nitrofurans are synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics often used for their antibacterial properties in food-producing animals. Nitrofurans have been banned from use in animals used for food production, because of concerns about the possibility of an increased risk of cancer if people are exposed to them over a long period of time. The European Union banned the use of nitrofurans in food animal production in 1995 with the United States following suit in 2002. Going beyond the nitrofuran use ban, the EU implemented a stricter food import inspection policy after nitrofuran residues were found in poultry, fish and shrimp.
Waters scientists used Waters LC/MS/MS technology including Alliance® HPLC System, Waters column technology, Micromass Quattro Ultima(TM) Platinum instruments and MassLynx software for the determination of the nitrofuran metabolites. The chemists used the Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mode in bovine kidney samples to provide the analytical selectivity require for achieving low analyte detection levels in accordance with the EU guidelines.