Aquaculture is a foodstuff production system growing throughout the whole world, and Brazil presents excellent potential for this activity because of its territorial vastness, with more than 2/3 in the tropical region, with unique hydrographic basins, rich in biodiversity, with emphasis on the Amazon Basin, which supports 20 % of the world´s freshwater.The presence of antimicrobial residues in food has drawn the attention of governmental agencies responsible for public health, food industries and consumers, in terms of food safety and bacterial resistance. Since Brazil is a country with expressive activity in animal production in the world, it becomes fundamental to have efficient programs to guarantee food quality. Nowadays, Brazil is the target of external market regulations, including damaging embargos on importation of its products by the European Community, under arguments of deficient quality control of food of animal origin. In order to address these demands the development of accurate analytical methods is necessary to determine veterinary drugs residues at low levels (ng g-1), which present toxic potential for human health and environmental safety. The establishment of safety thresholds for exposure to chemical agents with toxic potential depends on the determination of its residues in food. Therefore, investments are necessary in equipment and qualified human staff for the development and validation of analytical methods with high detectability and specificity for establishing food safety. Techniques like liquid chromatography associated with mass spectrometry in tandem (LC-MS/MS) have been applied with success. Research on the application of this technique to veterinary drug residue determination in food (fish) is very valuable for the scientific community, government agencies and industries.Macrolides and quinolones are antimicrobial classes with extended use in human and veterinary medicines and are suspected of being used illegally in aquaculture. For this reason, this research project has as its general objective the development and validation of methods for the determination of macrolide and quinolone residues in fish meat, using modern analytical techniques like liquid chromatography associated with mass spectrometry in tandem applied to the analysis of fish meat samples that have been exposed to consumers and samples obtained from the experimental project of raising fish in the Pólo Regional de Desenvolvimento Tecnológico de Agronegócios do Leste Paulista, in the city of Monte Alegre do Sul/SP, contributing to the goals of the Macro-Program Project entitled "AQUABRASIL: Technological basis for the sustainable development of aquaculture in Brazil", subsidized by federal sources through the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA), in execution from FEB-2008 to FEB-2012. The objectives proposed here will contribute to the attainment of goals in one of the component projects of AQUABRASIL, named "Management and Environmental Administration of Aquaculture", developed in São Paulo State (EMBRAPA MEIO AMBIENTE, Jaguariúna, SP), which include as objectives the evaluation and monitoring of environmental impacts on systems of aquaculture production due to the use of antimicrobial drugs. The financial support conceded to EMBRAPA is restricted to materials and equipments purchases, not including the concession of fellowships.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: