Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

GALAB offers analysis of 43 pyrrolizidine alkaloids.


Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) are Phytochemicals and as such a natural defense protection against predators. In particular, 1,2-unsaturated PA have a high toxic potential. Therefore these harmful compounds are undesired in food and feed.
PA, of which about 660 individual substances are known, are according to the current state of knowledge proven to exist in over 350 plant species and are assumed to be in further 6,000 plant species. Deriving from foreign herbs on acreage of crops they can get into food during harvest. In various (herbal) teas contamination with PA is a known problem, as is in food supplements based on plants and in animal feed. In addition, Senecio containing PA has occasionally been detected in salads. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also showed excessive PA levels in dried and frozen spices and herbs. Even honey may be contaminated through pollen deriving from wild plants containing PA.


As of 01.07.2022, pyrrolizidine alkaloids limits for tea-, herb- and pollen-based food supplements, pollen, and pollen products as well as herbs and spices are now applicable according to Regulation (EU) 2020/2040 amending Regulation (EU) 1881/2006.

GALAB – comprehensive service from a single source

GALAB checks the content of 1,2-unsaturated PA through liquid extraction with SPE purification and measurement using LC-MS/MS. This method currently covers 43 analytes and thus expands the spectrum of the 21 substances recommended by the BfR. GALAB offers the analysis of 1,2-unsaturated PA in various foods from herbs and spices, tea, honey, flour and dietary supplements. This also includes the baby food production chain, such as products containing spinach. The limit of quantification is 1 μg / kg for solid foods (e.g. herbs, tea, honey, flour) and 0.1 μg / kg for liquid foods (e.g. ready-to-drink teas). Adequate and representative sampling is absolutely vital since wild herbs, being a source of PA are distributed unequally. There are no legal requirements for sampling. The European Authority for Food Safety (EFSA) and the BfR therefore recommend to apply the sampling procedure criterias for the official control of mycotoxin content (Regulation (EC) No. 401/2006). With these in-depth services, GALAB enables everyone involved in the food chain full analysis as well as continuous support from a single source.

Analysis parameters:

  • Echimidine
  • Echimidine-N-Oxide
  • Echinatine
  • Echinatine-N-Oxide
  • Erucifoline
  • Erucifoline-N-Oxide
  • Europine
  • Europine-N-Oxide
  • Heliosupine
  • Heliosupine-N-Oxide
  • Heliotrine
  • Heliotrine-N-Oxide
  • Indicine
  • Indicine-N-Oxide
  • Integerrimine
  • Integerrimine-N-Oxide
  • Intermedine
  • Intermedine-N-Oxide
  • Jacobine
  • Jacobine-N-Oxide
  • Lasiocarpine 
  • Lasiocarpine-N-Oxide
  • Lycopsamine
  • Lycopsamine-N-Oxide
  • Monocrotaline
  • Monocrotaline-N-Oxide
  • Retrorsine
  • Retrorsine-N-Oxide
  • Rinderine
  • Rinderine-N-Oxide
  • Senecionine
  • Senecionine-N-Oxide
  • Seneciphylline
  • Seneciphylline-N-Oxide
  • Senecivernine
  • Senecivernine-N-Oxide
  • Senkirkine
  • Spartioidine
  • Spartioidine-N-Oxide
  • Trichodesmine
  • Trichodesmine-N-Oxide
  • Usaramine
  • Usaramine-N-Oxide

Advisory Service

Get in touch with us.

GALAB Laboratories GmbH
Am Schleusengraben 7
21029 Hamburg


Thank you for your interest in GALAB Laboratories.

    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.