New biotoxin detection regulations

January 26, 2011

The European Union has published new regulations regarding the approved testing methods for detecting marine biotoxins in bivalve molluscs, including oysters and mussels.

The European Union has published new regulations regarding the approved testing methods for detecting marine biotoxins in bivalve molluscs, including oysters and mussels. Regulation (EU) 15/2011 replaces the previous mouse and rat bioassay methods with a new liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry based method.

According to a panel on contaminants in the food chain of the European Food Safety Authority, the previous methods were no longer considered appropriate tools for detection purposes “because of the high variability in results, the insufficient detection capability and the limited specificity.”

A recently developed LC–MS–MS method, validated under the coordination of the European Union Reference Laboratory, was found to have lower limits of detection for marine biotoxins.

According to the commission this validated technique should be applied as the reference method for the detection of lipophilic toxins and used as a matter of routine, both for the purposes of official controls at any stage of the food chain and own-checks by food business operators.

The method is available from http://www.aesan.msps.es/en/CRLMB/web/home.shtml