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Development of reference materials for paralytic shellfish poisons


Phycotoxins associated with Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) may enter fishery products through food chains in the aquatic environment. Human intoxications caused by PSP occur worldwide, through consumption of marine fishery products in which the toxins have accumulated. Within Europe, a dozen countries (most of them EU memberstates) have recent or long-term experience of shellfish contamination with these toxins and a Community Regulation is in force to limit the level of PSP toxins in bivalve molluscs at 80 ug/100 g of edible tissue.

The aim of this project, for which the practical work was finalized by December 1996, is to develop certified reference materials for some PSP toxins and to improve the quality of the analytical methodology to determine PSP toxins. Four major activities were undertaken, that are now completed:
- characterisation of PSP toxins standards
- analytical method improvement
- intercomparison and certification studies
- production of reference materials, including homogeneity and stability investigations
The certification study led to draft-certified mass fractions with 95% confidence limits for saxitoxin and dc-saxitoxin. The certification report also provides indicative information about the presence of other PSP toxins than saxitoxin and dc-saxitoxin in the lyophilized mussel reference materials. The certification report has been submitted to the Scientific Evaluation Group in October 1997. Upon approval, it is anticipated that the reference materials will be come available in 1998.
- Standards of saxitoxin, dc-saxitoxin and GTX5 were prepared and partly characterised by the main partner. The materials were used to prepare calibrants for the intercomparison studies and the certification exercise.
- Reference materials (lyophilized mussel, blank and PSP toxins positive) were prepared and packed in laminate sachets by the subcontracted partner. In addition, a saxitoxin enrichment solution to be used to prepare saxitoxin positive mussel was prepared and filled in ampoules. The homogeneity and stability investigations of all the materials were completed and showed satisfying results.
- A certification study in which 13 laboratories took part was completed.


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9,Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9

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