New EU maximum levels for pyrrolizidine alkaloids
From July 2022, new maximum levels for pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) in food will apply throughout Europe. These were already adopted by the Standing Committee of the EU Commission at the end of June 2020 and included in Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. Foods that were lawfully placed on the market before July 2022 may continue to be marketed until the end of 2023.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are formed as metabolic products by many plants found worldwide and protect against natural predators. For humans, pyrrolizidine alkaloids are harmful to the liver and have also been shown in animal studies to damage genetic material and cause cancer. In particular, the substance can be ingested by humans through the consumption of lettuce, leafy vegetables, herbs, spices, tea and honey.
The GBA Group has controlled a large number of samples (including tea, herbs, spices and honey) for pyrrolizidine alkaloids over many years. For analytical purposes, we use LC-MS/MS analysis of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in all relevant food matrices. This method includes 28 analytes that can be detected with a limit of quantification down to 1 μg/kg.
For more information on pyrrolizidine alkaloids, click here: GBA Group pyrrolizidine alkaloids
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