Contaminant detection and quantification

We offer various services for the cost-effective detection of contaminants in e.g. food, feed and environmental samples. Contaminants may either be detected by their biological effect using CALUX® assays, or by chemical analysis (non dioxin-like PCBs). Our service laboratory is ISO 17025 (registration number RvA L401) accredited for analysis of dioxins, furans and dioxin-like compounds, non dioxin-like PCBs and estrogenic compounds.


Dioxins, furans and dioxin-like compounds

Food and feed safety is a high priority issue for the food and feed sector as it directly impacts human and animal health. Stringent EU limit values are in force for dioxins in food- and feeding stuffs for animal and public health protection (Commission Regulation (EU) No 589/2014 (food) and Commission Regulation (EU) No 278/2012 (feed)). The use of the DR CALUX® bioassay for monitoring dioxins in food and feed allows the (pre)-selection of samples suspected of being contaminated above limit values with dioxins.

Non dioxin-like PCBs

Non dioxin-like PCBs are also regulated for food and feed samples according to the above mentioned EU regulations. In contrast to dioxins and dioxin-like chemicals, non dioxin-like PCBs are analyzed using chemical-analytical methods (GC-ECD). This method is also ISO 17025 (registration number RvA L401) accredited.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are typically present in matrices as complex mixtures. The PAH CALUX® detects in particular, the toxic PAHs and is therefore perfectly suitable for hazard identification.

Estrogenic compounds

The detection and quantification of estrogenic compounds in e.g., (environmental) water samples by CALUX® analysis is also ISO 17025 (registration number RvA L401) accredited. Environmental estrogens are contaminants that can mimic the biological effects of the female hormone estrogen in the endocrine system. Xenoestrogens and phytoestrogens act as so-called Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs).

Other endocrine disruptive compounds

In addition to our CALUX® assay for estrogenic compound detection, CALUX® assays are available for compounds that disrupt the function of other natural hormones such as androgens, progestins, glucocorticoids, retinoic acids, thyroid hormones and peroxisome proliferator receptor interacting compounds. An overview of the respective assays is available here.

Genotoxic compounds

Our p53 CALUX® assay detects compounds that are genotoxic by causing damage to the DNA. This assay can optionally be performed in combination with microsomal S9 fractions to detect compounds that require metabolic conversion prior to gaining their adverse effect activities.

Compounds that evoke other biological effects

In addition to the aforementioned compound classes, we have a range of CALUX® assays that can detect the presence of bioactive compounds in e.g., natural products through the specific biological effects they have. An overview of the bioassays that are currently available is presented here. In general, all CALUX® bioassays can be characterized as being:

  • Sensitive
  • Specific
  • Robust
  • Quick
  • Cost effective
  • Applicable for high-throughput analysis