New approaches for detecting deadly marine biotoxins to ensure consumer health
The marine biotoxins produced by phytoplankton that can accumulate in fish or shellfish are some of the most deadly natural toxins on earth. Consumption of even small quantities of these toxins could result in severe illness or death and are therefore highly regulated and routinely monitored.
Analysis of marine biotoxins poses many analytical challenges, including the diversity of the compounds (hydrophilic and lipophilic, ionic and nonionic), the requirements for derivatization, and the wide scope of matrices that must be monitored, like seafood, algae and drinking water. Current assays using HPLC with UV or FLD detection, or GC-MS analysis can require rigorous sample preparation and can be non-specific and low in sensitivity. Immunoassays also present problems, including the likelihood for cross contamination and possible false positives.
LC-MS/MS for marine biotoxin analysis offers many benefits above other techniques and has been validated by reference labs as an ideal technique for marine biotoxin screening for:
High sensitivity for low-level toxin detection, reduced sample prep and accurate quantitation
Fewer false positive results due to enhanced specificity of MRM detection
The ability to screen and quantify in a single analysis
Meeting the minimum requirements of agencies for modern residue testing technologies