Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) in Herb Proficiency Test

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Product Specification

Proficiency Test Information
Product Code Proficiency Test Matrix Approx. Size


Herb (Origanum spp.)

55 g


pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs): contamination of matrix with two or more from a list of 28 possible pyrrolizidine alkaloids
View full analyte list for this specification


Please note as a new PT, pyrrolizidine alkaloids in herb(Origanum spp.) is not currently within scope of accreditation to ISO 17043. Contamination with two or more from the list of Analytes.

Test Description

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are naturally occurring toxins found in a wide variety of plant species. PAs are secondary metabolic products, produced by plants as a defence mechanism against plant eating animals.  An estimated 3 % of all blooming plants may contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. The content depends on the plant species and plant part, also influenced by factors such as soil conditions and climate.  More than 500 different PAs and corresponding N-oxides are known, some of them being extremely toxic. PAs can enter the food chain through different routes, for example if PA containing plants contaminate crops or if the toxins are naturally incurred in the plant material.

Origanum spp. is a herb which is widely used as an ingredient in the home and by commercial food producers, contamination of the crop with PAs is usually by accidental co-harvesting of PA-producing weeds.

Fapas has introduced proficiency tests for natural plant toxins of concern. Within this proficiency test your ability to test Oreganum spp. contaminated with pyrrolizidine alkaloids will be evaluated. Two or more analytes from a list of 28 analytes will be present in the test material.

Proficiency tests are useful for maintaining high quality across a range of testing environments. Through the use of real food matrices your proficiency test results are immediately comparable to your routine testing activities, allowing you to highlight areas of improvement across your testing practices quickly and effectively. This ensures your end results are credible, and repeatable across a range of testing environments.

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