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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jul 31;50(16):4452-5.

Liquid chromatographic determination of fluoroquinolones in egg albumen and egg yolk of laying hens using fluorometric detection.

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  • 1Center for Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 8401 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Maryland 20708, USA.


A liquid chromatographic method was developed for the determination of ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, and sarafloxacin at 10-200 ppb in both egg yolk and egg albumen of laying hens. Egg yolk or albumen was acidified with 1 M phosphoric acid followed by deproteination with acetonitrile and centrifugation. The supernate was pipetted out, and the remaining protein pellet was extracted three times with acetonitrile. The supernates were combined and concentrated at 50 degrees C to <0.7 mL. The final volume was adjusted to 2 mL with 0.02 M potassium phosphate buffer, pH 2.5. Separation of the analytes was achieved using reversed-phase HPLC with fluorometric detection. The recoveries were >80% and coefficients of variation <20%. After validation, the method was applied for use in a national survey for fluoroquinolones in table eggs. Of the 276 eggs assayed, none was found positive for fluoroquinolones. The findings suggest that illegal use of fluoroquinolones in laying hens is not widespread.

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