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Techniques & Tools Food, Beverage & Agriculture, Mass Spectrometry, Liquid Chromatography

Eggs-istential Crisis

Millions of eggs in 15 European countries have been removed from sale after elevated levels of Fipronil were detected. EU regulations state the maximum residue limit for Fipronil is 0.005 mg/kg – but some eggs were found to contains values of over 0.72 mg/kg.

Michael Nielen (Principal Scientist, Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences, Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands), believes a problem of this size underlines the need for portable, easy-to-use analytical instrumentation: “Given the scale of the scandal, the availability of on-site food analysis, such as portable MS/MS, would potentially speed-up risk management by food safety agencies, while reducing economic loss and restoring consumer confidence.” Read more about the potential of handheld food analyzers.

The Netherlands food safety agency are currently believed to be carrying out spot checks on poultry farms (using LC/MS/MS) to ascertain whether chicken meat has also been contaminated.

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About the Author
Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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