A novel real-time PCR-based analytical method was developed for the event-specific quantification of a genetically modified (GM) maize, 3272. We first attempted to obtain genome DNA from this maize using a DNeasy Plant Maxi kit and a DNeasy Plant Mini kit, which have been widely utilized in our previous studies, but DNA extraction yields from 3272 were markedly lower than those from non-GM maize seeds. However, lowering of DNA extraction yields was not observed with GM quicker or Genomic-tip 20/G. We chose GM quicker for evaluation of the quantitative method. We prepared a standard plasmid for 3272 quantification. The conversion factor (Cf), which is required to calculate the amount of a genetically modified organism (GMO), was experimentally determined for two real-time PCR instruments, the Applied Biosystems 7900HT (the ABI 7900) and the Applied Biosystems 7500 (the ABI7500). The determined Cf values were 0.60 and 0.59 for the ABI 7900 and the ABI 7500, respectively. To evaluate the developed method, a blind test was conducted as part of an interlaboratory study. The trueness and precision were evaluated as the bias and reproducibility of the relative standard deviation (RSDr). The determined values were similar to those in our previous validation studies. The limit of quantitation for the method was estimated to be 0.5% or less, and we concluded that the developed method would be suitable and practical for detection and quantification of 3272.
Dietary intake of radioactive substances (134Cs, 137Cs, 40K) from food in fiscal 2011–-2014 was surveyed using the duplicate diet method. 1,612 diet samples were collected from general households of 18 prefectures. 134Cs and 137Cs were detected in samples from Fukushima Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo Prefecture. 134Cs and 137Cs were detected in 11 samples in fiscal 2011, 12 samples in fiscal 2012, and 7 samples in fiscal 2013, but none was detected in fiscal 2014. The largest radioactivity in a sample was 12 Bq/kg in Fukushima Prefecture in fiscal 2011. The detected levels gradually decreased and were less than 1.0 Bq/kg in fiscal 2014. The maximum estimated dose of radioactive cecium was 0.14 mSv/year in fiscal 2011. Radioactive potassium was detected in every meal, and showed little change through the four years (median around 30 Bq/kg).
Catches of whitebait, sardine fry, sometimes contains other marine animals, including fishes, mollusks, and crustaceans, and therefore boiled and dried whitebait products may contain these marine animals if sorting is incomplete. In September 2014, contamination of boiled and dried whitebait products with pufferfish juveniles became a serious food safety concern, as tiger pufferfish Takifugu rubripes juveniles are toxic and contain tetrodotoxin (TTX). The toxicity of the juveniles of other pufferfish species, however, is unclear. To evaluate the food safety of whitebait products contaminated with pufferfish juveniles, we identified the species and toxicity of pufferfish juveniles contaminating whitebait products processed between July and September, 2014. Nucleotide sequence analysis of 16S rRNA or cytochrome b gene fragments of the mitochondrial DNA indicated that partial sequences of the polymerase chain reaction products of 15 specimens were identical with those of Lagocephalus spadiceus, and partial sequence from 2 specimens were identical with those of Takifugu vermicularis. We analyzed TTX by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. TTX was not detected in the L. spadiceus specimens and was below the quantification limits (30 ng/g) in a T. vermicularis specimen. Based on whitebait product manufacturer's research, 795 individuals and 27.2 g of pufferfish juveniles were detected in 8,245 kg whitebait product. Thus, the ratio of pufferfish to whitebait product was estimated to be 0.096 individual/kg whitebait product and 0.0033 g/kg whitebait product, respectively.
A method was developed for the simultaneous determination of okadaic acid, dinophysistoxin-1 and dinophysistoxin-2 in shellfish using ultra performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. Shellfish poisons in spiked samples were extracted with methanol and 90% methanol, and were hydrolyzed with 2.5 mol/L sodium hydroxide solution. Purification was done on an HLB solid-phase extraction column. This method was validated in accordance with the notification of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. As a result of the validation study in nine kinds of shellfish, the trueness, repeatability and within-laboratory reproducibility were 79–101%, less than 12 and 16%, respectively. The trueness and precision met the target values of notification.