Escrito por admin el . Posteado en Allergens

Food allergy involves adverse reaction of immunity system to determined foods (mostly proteins). Food allergies represent an important health problem affecting mainly children (6-8%). Symptoms can vary form mild (hives) to severe reactions such as anaphylaxis. The amount of food allergen that can trigger an allergic reaction is different in each patient and trace of allergens (little microgram) can be enough to induce a reaction. Hence, rigorous information about foods that contain allergens is very important to allow allergic people manage their diet.

egg, egg allergy, food allergies, zeulabEgg allergy is one of the most common in children, generally aged less than 5 years old. Egg is an ingredient widely used food industry to manufacture products such as tortillas, bread and bakery. Egg is not only added in food as a basic ingredient, but also as additive or supplementary condiment. Moreover, white egg is used as clarification agent in wine industry. Altogether, egg can be a hidden allergen and it can be present in a non declared way in food. According to European legislation (Annex II of Regulation (EU) 1169/2011) egg and thereof require mandatory mention in food labels. In order to claim correct information label in food, it is important to perform assays to verify egg presence/absence in food, especially when egg is used as additive. Moreover, analytical controls are needed to verify measures to avoid cross contamination in facilities where food manufacturing is realized with and without egg.

ZEULAB releases a new ELISA Sandwich test to detect egg, “PROTEON Ovalbumin, in an effort to offer analytical tools to the food sector in this issue. Ovalbumin is the major protein in white egg (54%) and together ovomucoid, lysozyme and ovotransferrin are the main allergens in egg. “PROTEON Ovalbumin” allows quantifying egg quantity in whole egg powder ppm in an accurate way. This test is available for a wide range of matrix in sectors such as bakery and wine industry. Besides, ZEULAB has improved “PROTEON Ovomucoid”. Ovomucoid is a heat stable glycoprotein that represents 11% of white egg proteins. So this ELISA Sandwich is designed to detect egg in food matrix treated at high temperatures where proteins could be denaturalized. Both tests are available in 48 and 96 well plate format and results are traceable with the NIST 8445 reference material.


Mouse bioassay for determination of lipophilic marine toxins in shellfish comes to its end

Escrito por admin el . Posteado en Marine biotoxins, Okatest

The presence of marine toxins in shellfish products could lead to fatal food poisoning. Monitoring programs to control levels of toxins establish monthly or even weekly sampling in production areas. Opening or closure of harvest areas would depend upon  the results obtained. Post-harvest and end product testing is also carried out in some countries. Currently, paralytic (saxitoxins), ammesic  (domoic acid) and lipophilic toxins (okadaic acid and derivatives, yessotoxins, pectenotoxins and azaspirazids) are legislated.

Mouse bioassay (MBA) has been used for long time for monitoring lipophilic marine toxins. However, concerns about the ethical problems and analytical results obtained were raised some years ago among different stakeholders.

Three mice per sample are injected with a solvent solution and the death of 2 out of 3 mice in 24 h determines the presence of lipophilic toxins above the regulatory limits (160 micrograms per kilogram of okadaic acid, derivatives and pectenotoxins together).

Social awareness and legal requirements to avoid animal experiments together with the proven unreliable results produced by mouse assay have lead to ban this method for monitoring of lipophilic marine toxins. In 2011 Commission Regulation (EU) No. 15/2011 established the liquid chromatography mass spectrometry as reference method. Member Estates must replace the mouse assay by the current reference method or any other method complying with the legislation before the 31st of December 2014.

The European legislation allows several analytical methods for monitoring of lipophilic toxins providing they fulfil the method performance criteria stipulated by the EU-RL (European Reference laboratory) and offer the same level of public health.

OkaTest, a phosphatase inhibition assay, fulfils the requirements of Chapter III A (4) a, b, and c of Annex III to Regulation (EC) 2074/2005 and can be used for the detection of Okadaic Acid group toxins OA, DTX1, DTX2, DTX3 including their esters. METHOD FOR DETECTION OF OKADAIC ACID TOXINS GROUP IN EDIBLE MOLLUSCS – click here.

OkaTest is an enzymatic kit for quantitative determination of Okadaic Acid (OA) and other carboxylic toxins of the OA group including DTX1, DTX2 and DTX3 by a colorimetric phosphatase inhibition assay. This method is applicable to shellfish species such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops. More info here.

The toxicity of Okadaic Acid and DTXs is directly related to their inhibitory activity against a family of structurally related serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PP), in particular PP1 and PP2A. This strong inhibitory property is used to determine Okadaic Acid content in shellfish by means of a microplate assay, using the enzyme PP2A and a chromogenic substrate for this enzyme. The enzyme hydrolyses the substrate and the product can be measured by an absorbance measurement at 405 nm using a microplate reader. As the ability of the PP2A to hydrolyse the substrate depends on the presence of Okadaic Acid and analogues in the samples, the toxin concentration can be calculated by using a standard curve.

The kit includes five standards and has a working range from 63 µg/kg to 352 µg/kg. The LOD and LOQ are 44 µg/kg and 56 µg/kg, respectively.

OkaTest has been single and inter-laboratory validated (Smienk et al. Toxins 2012 and  Smienk. et al. 2013, JAOAC,  96,1,77-85).

ZEULAB Collaborates with the Food Bank

Escrito por admin el . Posteado en Antibiotics


Zeulab has collaborated with the Food Bank after finishing the social campaign that took place during 2013.  Zeulab has donated 1% of Explorer 2.0 to the Food Bank, helping people to have access to food every day.

Last February CEO Dr. Pedro Razquin gave out the donation to Mr. José Ignacio Alfaro Director of the Food Bank from Zaragoza.

Zeulab wants to thank you all that helped us to collaborate with this cause and we invite you to keep cooperating with us in future campaigns in where Zeulab will be taking part of.

For more information about how to donate in Spain and in Europe please contact Food Bank from Zaragoza, Spanish Federation of food Banks and European Federation of Food Banks.

food bank + zeulab donation explorer 2.0

The PP2A test- OKATEST- suggested as the screening test of choice for Washington State monitoring program.

Escrito por admin el . Posteado en Marine biotoxins, Okatest

A recent study at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center has evaluated the application of screening assays for determination of DST (diarrhetic shellish toxins) in shellfish. A lateral flow test, ELISA and PP2A tests were evaluated and compared with the standard regulatory LC-MS/MS (Eberhart et al, Marine Drugs, 2013). The LC-MS/MS is the reference method for detection of lipophilic toxins since 2011 in the European Union and has been used for public health protection in the State of Washington since 2012. This methodology is expensive, time consuming and requires qualified personal. Eberhart B-T et al. identified the need of rapid and simple methods to perform at remote sites allowing growers to test a pre-harvest shellfish samples to prevent harvesting toxic product. The study suggests that PP2A (OKATEST) may provide a safety buffer for the harvest of large amount of shellfish prior to confirmatory LC-MS/MS. The combination of this rapid methodology with phytoplankton monitoring and LC-MS/MS testing could be a useful tool to maintain open status of shellfish beds.  

ZEULAB attended the AOAC 127th annual meeting in Chicago

Escrito por admin el . Posteado en Uncategorized

Last August 25th ZEULAB attended the AOAC 127th annual meeting in Chicago Illinois. ZEULAB has been attending at this meeting as an exhibitor for the last 3 years, in which there are visitors from all over the world. AOAC offers scientific sessions, roundtables, workshops, and poster presentations to meet a variety of analytical needs. Also brings science-based research from the top scientists in the world, technical information about changes and advances in methodology and access to techniques and applications. AOAC provides a wide range of interactions between industry, government, and academia and hosts a number of special events to provide the venue to meet with other members. ZEULAB presented two posters: Explorer 2.0: a new multi matrix screening test for the analysis of antimicrobial residues in offal (liver and kidney), eggs and feed. Also came up with a new device, e-reader an innovative incubator and reader for the detection of antibiotics in milk. ZEULAB also attended to several scientific sessions, roundtables, workshops and met with other AOAC members. Next year ZEULAB will be exhibiting at the 128th AOAC annual meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. See you in Florida!