The appropriate use of antibiotics is important for the industry as they are used for treatment, prevention and nutritional efficiency. These are important aspects of pig health and pork production. D...

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Antibiotic use in the pork industry has long been a contested issue in international circles. While many recognise the need for their use in the effective treatment of disease and maintaining pig health, others see them as an overused commodity that is damaging to human health overall.

While the debate surrounding the issue is an ongoing one there has been recognition for the fact that antibiotic use in the pork industry is not just an issue for farmers and vets to be concerned about, but for the industry as a whole.

The appropriate use of antibiotics is important for the industry as they are used for treatment, prevention and nutritional efficiency. These are important aspects of pig health and pork production. Decisions on which antibiotics to be used are not taken lightly, the majority of producers take these decisions with the use of their wealth of experience and scientific data available to them.

With great care being taken regarding their actual use, how important then is the detection of these antibiotics?

International governments including the European Union and United States, have implemented measures to safeguard food safety. These include bans on particular substances and withdrawal periods on others. A withdrawal period is a set amount of time that must pass from the latest use of an antibiotic before an animal can be slaughtered and enter the food chain.

Some programmes include random sampling of meat and milk to ensure adherence to withdrawal regulation. Non-compliant samples are then destroyed and penalties imposed on the producer. Many pork producers are now implementing a screening system to ensure samples are past their withdrawal periods and safe for consumption, highlighting the importance of a testing programme.

One such system that is being used in screening programmes is the Evidence Investigator drug residue analyser, offered by Randox Food Diagnostics. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was pioneered by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 22) from a single sample.

The small 9mm by 9mm Biochips use miniaturized immunoassays, similar to ELISAs, for the simultaneous determination of multiple residues. Used in conjunction with the Evidence Investigator instrument, which processes the images from a chemiluminescent reaction, it then quantifies and validates the results via instrument specific software.

One of the main benefits of using this technology is the reduction of sample/reagent consumption and an increase in the output of accurate test results. Some key drugs currently dedicated by the Evidence Investigator include Ractopamine, Nitrofurans and Chloramphenicol.

As well as being effective at detecting drug residues, the Evidence Investigator technology is also used for the detection of mycotoxins in Feed samples. The Myco 10 array from Randox Food detects up to 10 of the most prevalent toxins from a single sample using the same Biochip Array Technology.

Randox Food Diagnostics also offer a range of ELISAs including the Chloramphenicol ELISA, of particular importance for Chinese imports, and the Ractopamine ELISA which has been approved by the USDA.

Antibiotic detection remains a high priority for the pork industry and there are now effective instruments available, such as the Evidence Investigator, that provide producers quantifiable results, helping producers decision making process.

For more information on the Evidence Investigator and antibiotic detection equipment please contact Randox Food at enquiries@randoxfood.com.

 

RFD Press office

Randox Food Diagnostics digital press officer

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