CONSULTANCY ON ANALYSIS OF HEAVY METALS, DRUGS AND PESTICIDE RESIDUES AND AFLATOXIN M1 IN CAMEL MILK (March-October 2012)
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Project Code: 
phpt001
Lead Researcher: 
Prof. Ombui

The University of Nairobi, Department of Public Health, Pharmacology & Toxicology (PHPT) contracted by the Ministry of Livestock Development to undertake a consultancy to analyse for levels of heavy metals, drug and pesticide residues and aflatoxin M1 in camel milk in order to determine the safety of the milk for human consumption. 

A total of 13 milk samples were collected from Nanyuki and analysis was done. Heavy metal analysis was done using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Analysis for pesticides was done using Gas Liquid Chromatography fitted with an ECD detector at a detection limit of 2pg for organophosphates and pyrethroids and an FID detector for organophosphates residues with a detection limit of 3fg/s. Drug residues were analysed using High Performance Liquid Chromatograhic Technique (HPLC) using a visible light detector (detection limit 1.0 ppm).  Analysis was done for diminazine aceturate, hominidium bromide, albendazole and levamisole.  Levels of aflatoxin M1 were determined in the milk samples (n=15) using Enzyme Immunoassay and the detection limit was 5 ppt.

The results obtained showed that all the samples contained arsenic at levels ranging from 0.007 to 0.099 ppm.  However, the levels of lead ranged from 0.072 to 0.449 ppm.  The pesticides detected in the milk samples were heptachlor epoxide, aldrin, 2’4’DDT, 4’4’DDT 4’4’DDD, endrin, deltamethrin and cypermethrin in 7%, 20%, 7%, 13%, 40%, 7%, 73% and 87% respectively. None of the samples analysed contained quantifiable levels of veterinary drug residues at the detection limit of 1ppm.  The samples were also not found to contain detectable levels of aflatoxin M1 at detection limit of 5 ppt. Based on the results of the study, some of the analyses were at safe levels while others were at levels above the recommended maximum residue limits (MRL) and acceptable daily intakes (ADIs).

A technologist analyzing pesticide residues using Gas Chromatography

A technologist analyzing pesticide residues using Gas Chromatography

HPLC for analysis of drug residues and mycotoxins in the Department of Public Health, Pharmacology

HPLC for analysis of drug residues and mycotoxins in the Department of Public Health, Pharmacology