Dutch survey pyrrolizidine alkaloids in animal forage

P.P.J. Mulder, B. Beumer, J.E. Oosterink, J. de Jong

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are secondary plant metabolites produced by a number of plants from the Asteraceae (Compositae), Boriginaceae and Fabaceae (Leguminosae) families. Many of these alkaloids have been shown to be highly toxic, causing hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), liver cirrhosis and ultimately death. PAs may have also mutagenic and carcinogenic potential. Amongst livestock, cattle and horses are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of the PAs. Humans may also be at risk by the consumption of milk of livestock fed with PA-contaminated forage. At RIKILT - Institute of Food Safety a (semi)quantitative method based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for the determination of PAs in animal feeds has been developed and validated. This method comprises 40 macrocyclic PAs (including tertiary amines and N-oxides) representative for ragwort species. The method has been used for the analysis of 147 forage samples collected in 2006-2008.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherRikilt - Institute of Food Safety
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameReport / RIKILT , Institute of Food Safety
PublisherRIKILT - Institute of Food Safety


  • forage
  • pyrrolizidine alkaloids
  • feeds
  • livestock feeding
  • toxic substances
  • analytical methods
  • netherlands

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    Mulder, P. P. J., Beumer, B., Oosterink, J. E., & de Jong, J. (2009). Dutch survey pyrrolizidine alkaloids in animal forage. (Report / RIKILT , Institute of Food Safety; No. 2009.018). Wageningen: Rikilt - Institute of Food Safety.