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A recent study reveals slight residues of drugs given to livestock can be found in milk powder and meat-based baby food. A new method recently developed by researchers in Spain is able to detect these tiny residues in a very precise manner. The drugs, antibiotics given to livestock to prevent illness, are remaining in the systems of the animals in very low quantities, but still enough to be detected later in food. According to Antonia Garrido, a professor of analytical chemistry, the concentrations are low and not worrisome, but the presence of the medication reveals the need to control the products to assure safe food.

According to a study published in the Food Chemistry journal, trace amounts of anti-worm fungicides have also been detected in milk-powder and baby food, especially poultry-based baby food. The European Commission regulates the levels of these substances in cereal foods for the young, but not with animal based foods, but that may soon change.

Source: M.M. Aguilera-Luiz, J.L. Martínez Vidal, R. Romero-González, A. Garrido Frenich. Multiclass method for fast determination of veterinary drug residues in baby food by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Food Chemistry, 2012; 132 (4): 2171