Zeranol, an oestrogenic growth promoter in food animals, is banned within the European Union (EU). However, commercially available immunoassay kits for zeranol cross-react with toxins formed by naturally occurring Fusarium spp. fungi, leading to false-positive screening results. This paper describes the validation of a specificity enhanced, rapid dry reagent time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay (TR-FIA) for zeranol (recovery 99%, limit of detection 1.3 ng ml(-1)) demonstrating that up to 150 ng ml(-1) of Fusarium spp. toxins in urine do not lead to false-positive results. This assay will assist EU Member States to implement Council Directive 961 23\EC, which requires states to monitor for potential abuses of zeranol. A similar TR-FIA for the Fusarium spp. toxin a-zearalenol, using the same sample extract, is also described (recovery 68%, limit of detection 5.6 ng ml(-1)). Only the addition of diluted sample extract is required to perform these dry-reagent TR-FIAs, the results being available within 1 h of extract application. The EU-funded project 'Natural Zeranol' (FAIR5-CT97-3443) will use these fluoroimmunoassays to screen bovine urine in four Member States to gather data on the seasonality of Fusarium spp. toxin contamination of urine and the incidence of zeranol screening test positives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis