Originally beginning in Southeast Asia, shrimp farming has now become widespread throughout Asia and Latin America. Historically harvested from the wild, shrimp are now mainly reared in aquaculture facilities due to a rapid expansion. This controlled environment, where shrimp are fed and contained, has presented new challenges to food safety systems. Feed Navigator reported that whilst shrimp farming is a valuable part of the aquaculture industry, shrimp production has increased disease and environmental problems.
The use of antimicrobials has been linked to the environmental damage and the growth of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial compounds are often used in food production to treat infections and function as growth promotors to ensure high yield. However, many substances found in farmed shrimp have the potential to cause illness in humans. For example, a recent report conducted by the University of Minnesota found that the use of nitrofurans can increase the risk of cancer in humans and is responsible for the majority of violations in the U.S. As a result, importing shrimp into the U.S. that contains any adulterating chemicals or antimicrobials is illegal. Many other countries have banned or limited the use of antimicrobials in food producing animals and have set maximum residue limits.
These regulations have created the need for effective screening solutions. Randox Food Diagnostics have therefore developed the Antimicrobial Array III to provide a testing platform for nitrofuran metabolites AOZ, AMOZ, AHD and SEM. Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, the Antimicrobial Array III delivers multiple results from a single sample, saving time, money and labour costs.
With a variety of potential residues to be detected and a need for accurate results, many producers are using Randox Food Diagnostics technology to carry out sample analysis. For shrimp testing, Biochip Array Technology works on the semi-automated Evidence Investigator, using chemiluminescent reactions to offer laboratories comparable results to that of LC-MS/MS.