Romer Labs

Rāwalpindi, Pakistan

Romer Labs

Rāwalpindi, Pakistan
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Sultana N.,Romer Labs | Tahira I.,Romer Labs | Kausar M.,Government of Punjab | Hassan S.M.,Romer Labs | Hanif N.Q.,Romer Labs
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2017

This study presents the assessment of total aflatoxins (TAFs) in basmati rice (brown, 1,081; white, 1,170) collected from different areas of Punjab, Pakistan, during 2010 to 2015. Due to the carcinogenicity of TAFs, daily dietary exposure is also evaluated based on rice consumption survey data. Methodology was standardized by matrix spike recoveries at four fortification levels (0.1, 0.5, 2.5, and 12.5 ng/g) for TAFs (aflatoxins B1 [AFB1], B2 [AFB2], G1 [AFG1], and G2 [AFG2]). The present study reveals that 1,750 samples (77.74%) were tainted with AFB1, whereas TAFs were detected in 370 samples (16.43%). Of positive samples, 854 brown rice samples (79%) were positive for AFB1, and 154 samples (14.24%) were contaminated with TAFs. For white rice, 896 samples (76.58%) were contaminated with AFB1, whereas 205 samples (18.46%) were found positive for TAFs. Study findings were used to construct a frequency distribution, and AFB1 levels were also compared against permissible levels of TAFs (10 ng/g) as legislated by the European Commission. Results further revealed that daily dietary exposure of TAFs ranged from 0.51 to 10.22 ng/kg of body weight per day, which exceeds the permissible limit of 1 ng/kg of body weight per day as defined by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. © 2017 International Association for Food Protection.


Akhund S.,Pmas Arid Agriculture University | Akram A.,Pmas Arid Agriculture University | Hanif N.Q.,Romer Labs | Qureshi R.,Pmas Arid Agriculture University | And 2 more authors.
Mycotoxin Research | Year: 2017

Various cultivars of red chilli were collected from a small town named Kunri, located in the province Sindh, Pakistan. This town is a hub of red chilli production in Asia. A total of 69 samples belonging to 6 cultivars were obtained and analysed for the occurrence of aflatoxins and Aspergillus flavus, to explore the potential of resistant and susceptible germplasm. Aflatoxins were detected by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), while A. flavus was isolated and identified using agar plate, blotter paper, deep freezing and dilution techniques. Molecular characterization using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 1/4 and A. flavus specific FL1-F/R primers confirmed the identity of A. flavus. The data revealed that 67 and 75% samples contaminated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and with A. flavus, respectively. A highly susceptible chilli cultivar was ‘Nagina’, showing 78.8% frequency of total aflatoxins (1.2–600 μg/kg) and a mean of 87.7 μg/kg for AFB1 and 121.9 μg/kg for total aflatoxins. A. flavus was detected with 93% frequency and 2.14 × 104 colony forming units. In contrast, cultivars ‘Kunri’ and ‘Drooping Type’ were found to be resistant, with low levels of aflatoxins and fungal counts. The study was conducted for the first time to explore two potential cultivars that were less susceptible towards A. flavus and aflatoxin contamination. These cultivars could be preferably cultivated and thereby boost Pakistan’s chilli production. © 2017, Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Tahira I.,Romer Labs | Tahira I.,Pmas Arid Agriculture University | Khatoon S.,Romer Labs | Hanif N.Q.,Romer Labs | Sultana N.,Romer Labs
Journal of the Chemical Society of Pakistan | Year: 2012

Present study was planned to optimize a simple and rapid quantitative chromatographic method for the determination of OTA in red chilli. The validation of methodology was carried out by spikes recoveries, inter and intraday repeatability. Mean recoveries were 92.90%, 98.33%, 96.66 and 103.60 with repeatability RSD 10.85, 16.34, 5.95 and 9.82 percent respectively and regression coefficient was 0.999. The limit of detection (LOD) and limit of quantification (LOQ) were 0.5 ng/g and 1.0 ng/g respectively. For confirmation of the efficacy of optimized method, fifteen (n=15) samples of red chilies were randomly collected and subjected to OTA analysis. This random analysis revealed that eighty percent of samples were OTA contaminated, ranging from 23- 94 ng/g. Higher incidence with elevated levels of OTA in red chilli envisages an alarming situation as red chilli is an indispensible component of daily diet.


Tahira I.,Romer Labs | Sultana N.,Romer Labs | Hanif N.Q.,Romer Labs | Muhammad G.,The University of Faisalabad
Pakistan Journal of Zoology | Year: 2015

Eighty-four commercially available pet food samples including cat food (38 solid, 17 semi-solid) and dog food (20 solid, 9 semi-solid) were analyzed for melamine residues by competitive enzyme linked Immunosorbant assay. Among solid cat food, 78.94% (n=30) were contaminated with 14.43±1.27 (range >4-68 mg/kg) of melamine, while 82.35% samples of semi solid cat food (n=14) were found positive for melamine residue with mean value 6.43± 1.96 (range >2- 13.14mg/kg). Similarly, 75% samples of solid dog food (n=15) were positive for melamine residues with mean value 8.50±1.73 mg/kg (range >4-49mg/kg). A total of 44.44% samples of semi solid dog food were positive for melamine with mean value 16.31±1.64 range of >2-34.25mg/kg. Out of all positive samples, 53% samples of pet food were contaminated beyond the Codex Alimentarius Commission (i.e. 2.5mg/kg). Analytical data showed existence of melamine residues in imported pet food. Copyright © 2015 Zoological Society of Pakistan.


Radcliffe S.,Romer Labs | Sutzko M.,Romer Labs | Jiang Z.,Romer Labs | Freitag D.,Romer Labs | And 3 more authors.
Journal of AOAC International | Year: 2014

Romer Labs®, Inc. developed an immunochromatographic lateral flow assay for the qualitative detection of gluten in raw ingredients, processed foods, finished food products, and environmental surfaces, using the G12 antibody developed by Belén Morón. The G12 antibody targets a 33-mer peptide which is resistant to enzymatic digestion and heat denaturation, as well as being the fragment of the gliadin protein to which celiac disease sufferers react, making it a reliable analytical marker. This study was performed to validate the AgraStrip® Gluten G12 assay method under the guidance of the AOAC Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) program against AOAC Official Method of AnalysisSM 2012.01 in rice flour, bread, cookie, ice cream, and chocolate matrixes spiked with either purified gliadin or wheat gluten standard at 0, 3, 8, 15, and 25 ppm concentrations and tested at the 5, 10, and 20 ppm assay thresholds, as well as on environmental surfaces. Stability, robustness, variation, and lot consistency studies were performed by spiking wheat gluten into a rice flour matrix at 0 and 15 ppm concentrations. The AgraStrip Gluten G12 assay was rigorously evaluated during this study and demonstrates its suitability as an AOAC PTM-certified gluten detection method.


Khatoon S.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Hanif N.Q.,Romer Labs | Tahira I.,Romer Labs | Sultana N.,Romer Labs | And 2 more authors.
Pakistan Journal of Botany | Year: 2012

A total of 65 maize grain samples, from 7 maize producing areas of Pakistan, were assayed for 14 toxicologically significant mycotoxins viz., aflatoxin B1 (AfB1), aflatoxin B2 (AfB2), aflatoxin G1 (AfG1), aflatoxin G2 (AfG2), zearalenone (ZON), deoxynivalenol (DON), 3acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3A-DON), 15acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15A-DON), nivalenol (NIV), T-2 toxin (T-2), HT-2 toxin (HT-2), diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS), neosolaniol (NEOS) and fusarenone-x (Fus-x). Quantification was made by using high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). The frequently encountered mycotoxin was AfB1 - 27.69% (n=18, range: 5-850 μg kg-1; mean: 192 μg kg-1). Other mainly detected mycotoxins include AfB2 (18.46%), NIV (12.31%), DON (9.23%), and 3ac-DON (7.69%) with average values of 40, 1326, 1549, and 356 μg kg-1 respectively. DAS, T-2 and HT-2 were detected in only 9.23%, 6.15% and 6.15% of samples respectively with relatively low concentrations. A co-occurrence phenomenon was observed in 12 (18.46%) samples with a combination of two or maximum three different mycotoxins. It is a first preliminary study report dealing with 14 important mycotoxins simultaneously in maize from main maize growing areas of Pakistan.


Pal R.,SZIE | Schill Judit M.,Nemzeti Elelmiszerbiztonsagi Hivatal | Ervin T.,Romer Labs
Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja | Year: 2013

Aflatoxins are secondary metabolic products of Aspergillus fungi, first of all of A. flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nominus. The first forms of the aflatoxins are the aflatoxin B1 and B2 that are terrible poisons, which belong to the group of ultimate carcinogens. Due to the delicate environmental requirements of Aspergillus fungi (high temperature, high humidity) up to recently the presence and significance of these fungi in countries of moderate climate had been excluded. In 2012 the Italian representative of the earlier established and effected Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has reported the presence of aflatoxin M1 and M2 in bulk milk samples imported from Hungary. Following the alert number of Hungarian Dairy Enterprises launched investigations and found aflatoxin metabolites above the tolerable level (0.05 μg/kg) in the milk of about a dozen dairy farm. Scrutiny of the relevant literature has revealed the increasing presence of aflatoxin metabolites in bovine milk produced in Central Europe. It wasseen too, that Aspergillus infection of cereals, especially maize, has increased recently. This undesirable development has been unanimously attributed to the effects of global warming. The paper overviews the ecological demands of aspergilla, the metabolism of aflatoxins in ruminants, gives information about the growing concern of aflatoxicosis in humans and summarises the applicable analytical and preventive methods. The authors urge the acceleration of research for genetic resistance of cereals against microscopic fungi.

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