Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 1996

Analysis of hair samples for clenbuterol in calves

Appelgren, LE; Bondesson, U; Fredriksson, E; Larsson, CI; Jansson, DS

Abstract

Clenbuterol has been shown to be a possible repartitioning agent in several food producing animals including calves. the substance has been illegally used to increase growth of calves in several European countries and livers from such calves have caused food poisoning in human beings. Since high amounts of clenbuterol were found in the eyes of such calves we investigated the melanin binding of clenbuterol. We found a rather strong binding of labelled clenbuterol to pigment in black mice (retina/iris, hair) but no such binding could be demonstrated in albino mice. We therefore fed calves with clenbuterol in doses of 5 mu g/kg body weight twice daily during 3 weeks and analysed hair samples together with other tissues using a GC/MS method. We showed that it was possible to detect clenbuterol in hair samples from these calves after one week's treatment and up to 18 weeks (pigmented hair) after cessation of the treatment. White hair could be shown to contain clenbuterol up to 8 weeks after treatment. It would thus be possible to reveal the illegal use of clenbuterol by simply collecting hair samples from suspected calves and analyse them with the GC/MS method described with or without preceding immunoassay screening.

Keywords

calves; clenbuterol; pigment affinity; hair analysis

Published in

Fleischwirtschaft
1996, Volume: 76, number: 4, pages: 398-399
Publisher: DEUTSCHER FACHVERLAG GMBH