During the third stage of the project No. “Development and the application of innovative instrumental analytical methods for the combined determination of a wide range of chemical and biological contaminants in support of the bio-economy in the priority sectors of economy” work was continued on the development of chemical and biological methods for the detection of contaminants in various biota and food samples.

There was found, that optimization of the extraction and purification method was required during the preparation of samples using nanosorbents, in the studies on the determination of mycotoxins by time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

After the determination of mycotoxins in beer samples from Latvia, the study of these samples was continued with the determination of pesticide glyphosate. Various sample preparation options were examined. Studies show that the glyphosate concentration in the samples varies from 0.2 μg kg-1 to 150 μg kg-1. Glyphosate is the most used active herbicide ingredient in the world: it contains one quarter of all used herbicides, including the popular Raundap. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum weed killer that acts on the plant, penetrating it in the cells and blocking the plant metabolism, so the plant will dry up within a few days. In the spring of 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as potentially carcinogenic, while the European Food Safety Authority stated that there is no evidence of significant glyphosate risk for formation of tumors.

The European Decision on Glyphosate Risk Assessment for the European Food Safety Authority was prepared by the German Federal Risk Assessment Institute (BfR), which contradicted with the IARC's conclusion. The German Federal Risk Assessment Institute assessed the scientific evidence also and discussed it with the Member States. But not all Member States agree with the European glyphosate risk assessment - Sweden, for example, objected to this decision. Therefore, studies on glyphosate detection methods are essential for obtaining data and responsible authorities could define Latvian position on this topical issue.

Studies on the use of the UHPLC-q-Orbitrap method for analyzing multi-residues of veterinary medicines using phospholipid removal columns have also been started in the third phase of the project. There were planned, that the method could include more than 50 compounds from different groups - antibiotics, antiparasitic agents, NSAIDs, sedative preparations, etc. Control of veterinary residues is one of the basic conditions for Latvian food operators to be able to export their products to other countries, therefore such studies are essential for our promotion of national economic growth.
During the third phase of the project, within the scope of development of biologic pollutant methods, the studies have been started on the presence of salmonella in various samples from the food production chain with classical microbiological methods and molecular biology techniques. Salmonella is still one of the most important bacteria that can cause foodborne illness in humans. Several outbreaks of infection may involve a large number of people. Every stage in the food chain, from farm to fork, is important for limiting salmonella. The use of molecular biology methods provides faster results that can help prevent Salmonella infection epidemics. At this stage, work was also continued on the identification of molds with microscopy, MALDI-TOF and molecular biology techniques.

In order to ensure the transfer of knowledge gained in the project, three publications are currently being evaluated in the journals. The publication "Development and optimization of gas chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry based method for the sensitive determination of Dechlorane Plus and related norbornene-based flame retardants in food products" is published in the Chemosphere journal, which is included in the Web of Science and Scopus databases.

The total project costs: EUR 449, 617.00 (the planned ERDF aid (85%): EUR 382, 174, 44 and state budget aid (7, 5%): EUR33721, 28). Implementation of the project is scheduled at the duration of thirty months (period: 01.03.2017. - 30.08. 2019).


Information prepared on 28.12.2017.