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Implications of the use of semicarbazide as a metabolic target of nitrofurazone contamination in coated products

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Data from the Brazilian Agricultural Ministry show that before the implementation of the Brazilian programme of nitrofuran control in February 2003, the cases of contamination of Brazilian chicken by nitrofurans were almost exclusively due to furaltadone. After May 2003, such cases decreased until no more reports of Brazilian chicken contamination with this nitrofuran were reported. Curiously, after April 2003, an increase was observed in the numbers of contaminated samples by semicarbazide, the target metabolite of nitrofurazone. Most Brazilian chicken found to be contaminated with semicarbazide has been covered with flour, salt and spices. For this reason, the authors' laboratory initialized a programme for tracing possible sources of food contamination by semicarbazide. After several semicarbazide positives in flour of controlled origin (results varying between 2.2 and 5.2 g kg−1), the different additives used in the cereal industry as flour improvement agents were studied. The results indicate that the compound azodicarbonamide was responsible for the source of the contaminant semicarbazide.
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Keywords: azodicarbonamide; flour coatings; nitrofuran metabolites; poultry; semicarbazide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Galeno Research Unit Rua Latino Coelho 1301 Parque Taquaral Campinas SP Brazil -- 13087-010

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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