Rise in RASFF Alerts for Ergot Alkaloids in Rye Flour
Alerts of Ergot Alkaloids in rye flour appear to be on the rise in Q2 2022 with notifications appearing on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal over the months of April and May.
On the 20th April RASFF were notified by a distributing company in Belgium, through their own checks, of the presence of Ergot Alkaloids in rye flour originating from France. Analytical testing showed a staggering result of 1670 µg/kg – over 3 times the maximum level permitted (500 µg/kg) as mandated by stricter EU regulations which came into force from January 1st 2022. The shipment of rye flour was bound for distribution in many other EU countries such as Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Separately to this, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) had to issue a public warning and product recall on April 15th for a 2.5kg bag of fine rye flour, brand name ‘t Korenveld, due to the presence of ergot alkaloids. Originating from Belgium, testing showed 766 µg/kg of ergot alkaloids were found in the rye flour.
An additional alert was raised on May 2nd by France of rye flour for bakery containing ergot alkaloids, due for distribution to countries such as Greece, Germany, UAE, UK and Belgium. Measured Were taken by France to withdraw the product from the market.
Regulations are set to become even stricter in 2024, with the maximum residue level being reduced from the current 500 µg/kg to 250 µg/kg in rye flour. Randox Food Diagnostics Ergot Alkaloids ELISA is compliant with the lowest proposed maximum levels mandated by Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/1399, applicable from January 1st 2022. This includes the total of 12 main ergot alkaloids for cereal-based feed, rye, wheat, oats, barley and spelt and their milling products.
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