Updating methods for the Statutory Research Tasks

Food safety is the most important requirement to be met for food quality: A range of legislation and directives have been adopted to provide assurances for food safety. The detection of veterinary drugs and growth promoting agents, including antibiotics and prohibited growth promoters (96/22/EC and 96/23/EC), can be carried out for large numbers of samples in a cost-effective manner using broadly deployable analytical multi-component methods or biosensors. Both approaches can also be used to detect the latest unknown substances.


The project consists of two elements with an overlapping objective:

1) The development and evaluation of simple multiplex tests for on-site measurements of a number of antibiotics in drinking water.

2) The implementation and/or development of improved separation and analytical techniques for broad measurements of a range of categories of substances (multi-class methods) that can also be employed specifically to detect unknown substances.


1)    This element of the project will evaluate two multiplex techniques, MAGPIX and MIT, to review the feasibility of their on-site use for the simultaneous determination of the concentrations of a number of antibiotics.

2)    This element of the project is comprised of the following sub-elements:

  • The preparation of an inventory and the application of a number of existing LCxLC techniques for a number of substances that will serve as examples: the combination of the analysis of the various categories of antibiotics and the combination of the analysis of beta agonists and steroids.
  • The intensification of cooperation with Wageningen University and Research centre (WUR), which is already developing and/or using techniques of this nature.
  • The performance of exploratory measurements using existing LCxLC techniques and the performance of measurements of a large number of prohibited substances using one or a number of hybrid MS instruments.


Project results

The multiplex (immuno) tests developed in this project are rapid and economical methods that can be used on location, for example at an animal feed producer or on a farm, and are capable of demonstrating the presence of a range of antibiotics in drinking water. These on-site tests will enable the supervisory authorities to take more rapid action and collect more targeted samples in the event of an emergency or a contravention. The tests could possibly be developed for use with other substances and matrices (urine, milk and feed) or for use by producers in carrying out in-house monitoring analyses. Work will also begin on the development of LCxLC-hybrid MS techniques. In the longer term this will result in the development of methods for broad measurements of a number of categories of compounds (multi-class methods).