Food contamination test

The Column

The Column, The Column-07-15-2011, Volume 7, Issue 13

Responding to widespread recalls of potentially harmful phthalate?tainted food and beverages in Asia, AB Sciex has provided food safety investigators with a new method to identify the harmful plasticizer.

Responding to widespread recalls of potentially harmful phthalate‑tainted food and beverages in Asia, AB Sciex has provided food safety investigators with a new method to identify the harmful plasticizer.

Phthalate was recently found in Taiwan, in clouding agents commonly used in products including fruit jelly juices, sports drinks and yoghurt mix powder. Public reports allege that one or more food manufacturers had added this banned industrial plasticizer to an emulsifier as a cheap substitute for palm oil.

“AB Sciex continues to play an active role in assisting government agencies and food producers to ensure a safe food supply. If a contaminant is in food or beverages, our QTRAP and SelexION technologies are more than capable of pushing the limits of detection to identify and quantify it,” said Joe Anacleto, the company’s vice president and general manager of the Applied Markets and Clinical Research Business.

The method is designed to increase the accuracy and reduce the time to identify the contaminant from hours to minutes. This method is based on tandem mass spectrometry and, according to the company; this is the first available method to test for this toxic-additive with this technology. The company claims this is an advancement over other techniques, such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which requires extensive sample preparation and longer run times.