Fipronil Tainted Eggs Detected in Several European Countries

Posted August 9, 2017 at 10:33 AM
By Philip Taylor on SCIEX 

Fipronil Contamination in Eggs

News agencies all over the world are reporting a new food contamination issue regarding eggs which have been found to contain residues of Fipronil. According to Nieuwsuur, a Dutch news, and current affairs program, "The Fipronil scandal is a huge blow to the poultry sector. Millions of eggs are destroyed and 138 companies remain tentatively closed. But supermarkets also face great damage. In recent days all contaminated eggs have been taken out of the shelves." CBS news has reported that contaminated eggs have been discovered in Belgium and in the Netherlands with other European countries now on alert.

What is Fipronil?

Fipronil is an insecticide which belongs to the phenylpyrazole chemical family, it is used in the application of flea, cockroach and ant control. It is the main active ingredient in many flea prevention pet care products. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classed Fipronil as class II moderately hazardous pesticide.

Fipronil and SCIEX

The detection of Fipronil in food products can quickly and accurately be achieved using the Mass Spectrometry solutions from SCIEX, showcased in a recent webinar on the Validating the Routine Use of High-Resolution Q-TOF LC-MS/MS for the Analysis of Pesticides in Baby Food". The unique feature of this workflow is that the data was acquired using SWATH® Acquisition.

Why is SWATH so important? Well, the answer is that SWATH scans for all detectable analytes within a sample. Therefore in the analysis of eggs, if you were running a SWATH workflow even if you were not intentionally analyzing for Fipronil, you would still detect it and other potential compounds present which may have been omitted from your targeted workflow.

You may also be interested in this vast high-resolution accurate library of pesticide analytes which includes accurate mass spectra for Fipronil and hundreds of other pesticides, you can also download a free MS XIC list here.