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Cefas-Developed Certified Biotoxin Reference Material now Available

2 August 2012, at 1:00am

UK - Cefas scientists have fed shellfish in their laboratory with high concentrations of toxic algae to create high-quality certified matrix reference materials for shellfish monitoring tests. This material is now been offered commercially through Cefas Technology Limited (CTL).

As the official algal biotoxin monitoring testing laboratory for England, Wales and Scotland, Cefas requires access to contaminated shellfish material for method validation programmes and routine quality control. However, there is a lack of commercially available matrix reference materials.

The new Pacific oyster paralytic shellfish toxin certified reference material (PO PST CRM 1101) has been extensively tested for stability and homogeneity and is certified following ISO Guides 34 and 35. It is available in 5.7g ampoules and contains a range of important Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) toxins: STX, GTXs, Neo and C toxins, with a total toxin level of 668 g STX di-HCl equivalents/kg.

Dr Wendy Higman, project manager, said: "This material is suitable for a range of analytical activities including liquid chromatography methods and functional assays."

Cefas scientists conducted feeding experiments using algal toxins, such as Alexandrium, and protocols were developed. These, in turn, were then used to generate PSP-contaminated samples of cockles, Pacific oysters, native oysters and king scallops. Each species contains a variety of different PSP toxin profiles.

Dr Higman said: "We continue to develop other shellfish laboratory and certified reference materials, and expect to release freeze-dried material for PST in Pacific oysters in December 2012."

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