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New test for food contaminants


Biacore International, the Swedish-based global Surface Plasmon Resonance specialist, has launched a new rapid screening kit for thedetection of ractopamine drug residues in food.

The Qflex Ractopamine test kit is designed for routine screening for this beta-agonist drug inlivestock and food products. Ractopamine is licensed in the US for use asa livestock growth promoter, but is banned in Europe, which is an issue that has affectedfree international trade between the two in the past.

The company claims that the availability of this sensitive kit will enable food manufacturers and quality assurance to detect ractopamine to very low levels in animal matrices and to satisfy customer concerns on food safety.

To prevent chemical residues entering the food chain, both producers and government surveillance schemes need technology and methods that providerapid, accurate results that are also reliable at the required sensitivity.

The Biacore Q system for Concentration Analysis together with Biacore's sensor chip technology and the Qflex kits are designed to enhance the reliable detection of chemical contaminants and the ability of the food industry to assure food safety andquality.

Biacore claim that the combination of its Q system and the Qflex Kit Ractopamine facilitates routine end use for the detection of ractopamine residues in animal urine and liver. Providing an alternative to traditional methods, the assay is an automated, label-free inhibition method which reduces the risk of experimental errors. According to the company sample preparation is minimal.

The company said that the kits also provide the flexibility required for further method development if required.

The Qflex Kit Ractopamine contains a sensor chip and all critical reagents required to perform the inhibition assay, including a reference standard.The ractopamine kit adds to the Qflex Kit portfolio, which includes clenbuterol, streptomycin, sulfamethazine and sulfadiazine.

Based in Uppsala, Sweden, the company is listed on Stockholmsbörsen andNasdaq in the US. In 2001 the company had sales of SK544 million (€59.4m) and an operating income of SK64 million.

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