Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

3 Key Facts to Know About Ractopamine

Posted by Nick Price

March 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM

ractopamine_blog.jpgThe mid- 2000s saw the rise of ractopamine as a prominent growth promoting agent for the meat industry. Suppliers in this industry are probably familiar with ractopamine, but manufacturers using meat in their products may not know much about its use and effects. We’ve pulled together the top 3 facts to know about ractopamine:

1. Ractopamine promotes lean muscle growth in the weeks prior to slaughter.
Ractopamine belongs to a class of drugs called beta adrenergic receptor agonists. These drugs mimic the effects of adrenaline, resulting in increased protein synthesis in muscle tissue during the administration period, which is typically a few weeks prior to slaughter. Ractopamine also increases feed efficiency, causing the livestock to grow at a more rapid rate while consuming less feed. This results in animals with a higher lean muscle to fat ratio, allowing farmers to be able to produce more lean meat on fewer natural resources.

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Topics: Ractopamine, Food Testing, Meat, Meat Industry, Veterinary Drugs

Ractopamine Still Making News After USDA Certification Program

Posted by Xochitl Javier

January 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

ractopamineWhat's the latest on Ractopamine? Why all the fuss and what's being done?

First, the latest news. New USDA Program.

Recently, the USDA introduced a certification program that would allow the meat industry to market their products with the claim "Never Fed Beta Agonists". Beta agonists are a class of drugs used as feed additives to promote lean muscle mass in livestock intended for consumption. Compounds within the Beta agonist family include Ractopamine, Clenbuterol and Salbutamol.

In the US, the FDA Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for ractopamine hydrochloride is established at 30 ppb in beef and 50 ppb in pork. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has an established MRL of 10 ppb for beef and pork muscle cuts. However, owing to concerns about its effect on human health, Russia and China have banned meat containing ractopamine and now require stringent confirmation that products are free of the banned drug.

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Topics: Ractopamine, USDA

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