Brominated Dioxins in Egg, Broiler, and Feed Additives: Significance of Bioassay-Directed Screening for Identification of Emerging Risks in Food

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Abstract

Food authorities aim to safeguard our food. This requires sensitive analyses to guarantee detection of both banned and regulated substances at low concentrations. At the same time, broad screening methods are needed to identify new emerging risks. For this purpose, effect-based bioassays combined with mass spectrometric analyses offer an advantage. During the regular monitoring of dioxins in agricultural products, a discrepancy was observed between the results of the DR CALUX (Dioxin-Responsive Chemical Activated Luciferase gene Expression) bioassay and the confirmatory gas chromatographic high resolution mass spectrometric (GC-HRMS) analysis in egg and broiler fat samples. The response in the bioassay was high, suggesting a clear exceedance of the maximum limits of dioxins in these samples, yet regulated dioxins or dl-PCBs were not detected by GC/HRMS analysis. Ultimately, a broad screening analysis using GC-HRMS resulted in the identification of 2,3,7,8-tetrabromo-dibenzofuran (2,3,7,8-TBDF) in both egg and broiler fat. To investigate the potential source of this brominated furan contaminant, different samples were analyzed: bedding material, poultry feed, feed additives (choline chloride and l-lysine), and seaweed. The poultry feed and feed additives all contained 2,3,7,8-TBDF. Using a feed-to-food transfer model, it became clear that the poultry feed was probably the source of 2,3,7,8-TBDF in broilers and eggs through a feed additive like L-lysine or choline chloride. This study underlines the importance of using a combination of effect-based screening assays with sensitive analytical methods to detect potential new and emerging risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number931
JournalFoods
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • bioassay
  • broiler
  • brominated dioxins
  • DR CALUX
  • egg
  • emerging risk
  • GC-HRMS
  • L-lysine
  • seaweed
  • tetrabromo-dibenzofuran

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