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Fields & Applications Liquid Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, Food, Beverage & Agriculture

Scouting for Antimicrobial Morsels

Even before the first antibiotic – penicillin – was used for therapeutic purposes, scientists were aware of the dangers of microbial resistance to these “wonder drugs.” Their increased use in the agricultural industry has led to trace levels of these compounds in our food, which could increase the risk of pathogens’ developing resistance to them.

Until now, it has been difficult for scientists to analyze a large number of antibiotics in a variety of foods, largely because of their vastly different chemical structures and properties. However, researchers recently published a new approach based on HPLC-MS that enabled them to detect 77 distinct antibiotics in cereals, meat, eggs, milk, vegetables, and fruits (1) – a breakthrough that should help further research on this pressing topic.

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  1. M Hu et al., J Agric Food Chem, 69, 5 (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.0c05778.

About the Author

Lauren Robertson

By the time I finished my degree in Microbiology I had come to one conclusion – I did not want to work in a lab. Instead, I decided to move to the south of Spain to teach English. After two brilliant years, I realized that I missed science, and what I really enjoyed was communicating scientific ideas – whether that be to four-year-olds or mature professionals. On returning to England I landed a role in science writing and found it combined my passions perfectly. Now at Texere, I get to hone these skills every day by writing about the latest research in an exciting, creative way.

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