SCIEX Responds to Milk Contamination Concerns with New Method to Detect Dicyandiamide
SCIEX's easy-to-use DCD test method equips food & beverage testing laboratories around the world for rapid response
February 11, 2013
SCIEX today announced the release of a new testing method for laboratories to screen for and quantify dicyandiamide ‒ known as DCD ‒ in dairy products and other protein-rich foods. Government regulators and food manufacturers continue monitoring the milk supply globally, utilizing advanced analytical technologies to help ensure food & beverage safety.
The new method from SCIEX to test for DCD is designed to increase the accuracy and reduce the amount of time to identify dicyandiamide and other nitrogen-rich compounds from hours to just minutes, with limits of quantitation down to low µg/kg. SCIEX's new method is an efficient and highly sensitive method available for virtually any laboratory to use.
"SCIEX is a scientific resource for the food & beverage testing communities around the world," said Vincent Paez, Senior Director of Food & Environmental at SCIEX. "We aim to equip scientists and lab technicians with easy-to-use methods that can be implemented quickly and effectively used to prevent the escalation of a food contamination crisis. Food testing laboratories are always vigilant about the next contamination outbreak, and they require technological tools from companies such as SCIEX."
This new method is based on LC/MS/MS (liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry), an analytical technique that has become the industry standard for improving food safety analysis. To achieve high levels of sensitivity and selectivity for the most accurate results, SCIEX scientists used an Eksigent ekspertTM ultraLC 100 System, a Phenomenex HPLC column and SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 technology, applying a simple extraction-dilution approach that minimizes sample preparation and saves time and money.
This method is relevant in light of the recent news reports that trace amounts of DCD, a fertilizer residue, were found in dairy products produced in New Zealand. Responsible actions were taken across the industry last month to avert a contamination crisis. As investigations continue, no evidence has been reported about deliberate adulteration of dairy products; however, food safety authorities are boosting surveillance of this contaminant to prevent recurrence of any incidents and alleviate the public's concerns.
Preventative measures to enact further testing as a safety precaution are part of standard policies and procedures for forward-thinking laboratory personnel. SCIEX's new method for DCD detection can be added to any food laboratory's method library to accelerate a rapid response.
DCD is reportedly used by farmers to reduce the negative effects of greenhouse gas emission and nitrate leaching that can affect waterways. It has also been reportedly used by some to promote the growth of pastures where cows graze. Standards for the acceptance of DCD in food vary by country. While only small trace amounts of DCD were detected in milk in the widely reported case out of New Zealand recently, high doses of DCD are considered toxic for humans.
As a provider of next-generation food safety testing solutions, SCIEX has been at the forefront of food contamination crises for the past decade. In 2007, SCIEX addressed the global crisis surrounding melamine and cyanuric acid present in wheat gluten added to pet food, which resulted in the fatalities of several cats and dogs. A year later, SCIEX's method to test for melamine was used to respond to evidence of tainted milk and baby formula.
SCIEX helps to improve the world we live in by enabling scientists and laboratory analysts to push the limits in their field and address the complex analytical challenges they face. The company's global leadership and world-class service and support in the mass spectrometry industry have made it a trusted partner to thousands of the scientists and lab analysts worldwide who are focused on basic research, drug discovery and development, food and environmental testing, forensics and clinical research. With over 25 years of proven innovation, SCIEX excels by listening to and understanding the ever-evolving needs of its customers to develop reliable, sensitive and intuitive solutions that continue to redefine what is achievable in routine and complex analysis. Follow SCIEX on Twitter @ABSCIEX and on Facebook and LinkedIn.