|CONTACT: Alyson Russell-Stevenson, Neogen Corporation, 517/372-9200|
AYR, Scotland, December 19, 2013 — Neogen has introduced a rapid test method for the accurate detection of aflatoxin M1 at very low levels in dairy products.
Neogen’s new Veratox® for Aflatoxin M1 is intended for the quantitative analysis of aflatoxin M1 in commodities such as milk, milk powder, butter and cheese. The test is a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that is specific for M1, and allows users to obtain exact concentrations in the range of 5 to 100 parts per trillion (ppt) within 45 minutes of extraction.
“Aflatoxin M1 is a major metabolite of aflatoxin B1, the most frequently encountered and the most toxic subtype of aflatoxin,” said Neogen’s Steve Chambers. “Aflatoxin M1 is formed when animals ingest feed contaminated with aflatoxin B1. The amount of aflatoxin M1 that is subsequently found in milk depends on several factors, such as the animal’s breed, lactation period, mammary infections, etc., but once created the metabolite is not destroyed during the pasteurization and heating process. As such, it can be important to ensure the safety of milk and dairy products through the use of a simple test for M1.”
Many countries have set maximum allowable levels of aflatoxin M1 in dairy products. Therefore, accurate determination of the toxin’s presence is of major importance to those monitoring the quality of products in which aflatoxin may occur. Testing these commodities for the toxin requires careful sampling, chemical extraction, sanitation, and quantitative analysis.
In the European Union, the limit for aflatoxin M1 is 50 ppt in raw milk, heat treated milk, and milk for the manufacture of milk-based products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued regulatory levels for aflatoxin M1 at 500 ppt in milk.
Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and may be present in grains and animal feeds. It is produced by certain strains of the molds Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, and exists in four principle types B1, B2, G1 and G2. When animals are fed grain or feed contaminated with the toxin, aflatoxin B1 is converted by hydroxylation to aflatoxin M1, which is subsequently secreted in the milk of lactating cows.
Neogen Europe Ltd., the European subsidiary of Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG), is a high technology business dedicated to the development and marketing of novel diagnostic kits. These kits focus on topical concerns about the quality and safety of food and agricultural products, from the quality of seed that goes into the ground, right through the chain to the safety of fully processed food products. Neogen Europe has been awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for international trade and development, one of the highest awards bestowed on a UK company.