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Development of a Simple and Low-Cost Enzymatic Methodology for Quantitative Analysis of Carbamates in Meat Samples of Forensic Interest

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Foods contaminated with a granulated material similar to Temik (a commercial pesticide formulation containing the carbamate insecticide aldicarb) are often involved in accidental ingestion, suicides, and homicides in Brazil. We developed a simple technique to detect aldicarb. This technique is based on the inhibition of a stable preparation of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, and it is specially adapted for forensic purposes. It comprises an initial extraction step with the solvent methylene chloride followed by a colorimetric acetylcholinesterase assay. We propose that results of testing contaminated forensic samples be expressed in aldicarb equivalents because, even though all other carbamates are also potent enzyme inhibitors, aldicarb is the contaminant most frequently found in forensic samples. This method is rapid (several samples can be run in a period of 2 h) and low cost. This method also proved to be precise and accurate, detecting concentrations as low as 40 μg/kg of aldicarb in meat samples.

Keywords: acetylcholinesterase; aldicarb; carbamates; forensic analysis; forensic science; meat

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Forensic Chemistry, Carlos Éboli Criminalistic Institute, Civel Police of Rio de Janeiro State, Rua Pedro I, 28, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 2: Rua Visconde do Uruguai, 208, Centro, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 3: University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Biology Institute, Laboratory of Enzyme Toxicology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Publication date: May 1, 2010


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