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An Improved Evaporative Sample Preparation Methodology for Determining Nitrofuran Antibiotic Residues in Foodstuffs
Introduction Nitrofuran antibiotics were banned from use in the European Union [EU] in 1995 due to concerns that their residues were carcinogenic. In 2002/3 the EU introduced a stringent testing regimen which calls for the use of highly sensitive methods to test food stuffs, principally meat, fish & shellfish, for the presence of this class of antibiotics. The Minimum Required Performance Limit [MRPL] laid down by the EU directive is 1g per kg for edible tissues, and is enforced on all products whether produced locally or imported into the EU. Many papers detail methods and identify metabolites and derivatives of the drugs concerned and are listed by Vass, Hruska & Franek (2008). The analytical method calls for good upstream sample preparation to eliminate the effects of the matrix, and can be manual and time consuming, particularly where evaporation is concerned. This article describes operational benefits including workflow improvements gained by the official food control authority of the canton of Zurich (Kantonales Labor Zurich) or KLZH during improvement of their upstream sample preparation methodology.