Residues of hormones and anabolic steroids in foods such as meat or milk provide a potential health risk to consumers. Therefore, R-Biopharm offers test systems for the detection of natural and synthetic hormones and steroids.
Definition and use of hormones in animal husbandry
Hormones are endogenous biochemical messengers which are transported through the bloodstream to their target organs. Besides natural sex hormones, synthetic steroids and beta-agonists can be used in livestock breeding to improve the average weight gain and the meat/fat-ratio.
Risk to the consumer and the environment
As a result of inappropriate or illegal use, residues in food of animal origin such as meat or milk may occur and bear a direct health risk to consumers. Additionally, the entry of hormonal active substances into surface and ground water by manure can have an impact on aquatic ecosystems. Through drinking water and fish consumption, hormone residues could also re-enter the food chain.
In the European Union, the use of hormones and anabolic steroids as growth-promoting substances in animal breeding is completely banned and residues are monitored under surveillance programs (Directives 96/22/EC, 2008/97/EC and 2003/74/EC). However, the therapeutic use of certain hormones for veterinary purposes is permitted. In contrast, outside of Europe, hormones and anabolics can be legally used as fattening agents, because the local authorities assessed their usage as risk-free.
Test systems for the analysis of hormones in food
RIDASCREEN® ELISA tests provide a quantitative analysis of hormones and anabolic steroids and related substances by an immunological antibody-antigen reaction and analysis by ELISA reader and the RIDARSOFT Win software.