Method reliability. The biggest pressure in food safety testing is merging all of the elements listed above to produce a method that is reliable. A wrong result can be incredibly expensive for food producers and government agencies, devastating to a food brand, and most importantly, a risk to consumer health.
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The food testing lab’s responsibility to produce reliable results is greater than ever. By evaluating all aforementioned elements during method development, while incorporating innovations in technology for food safety testing, testing labs are, more than ever, playing a key role in keeping our food safe.
Companies that provide the food testing industry with analytical instruments and systems are also finding new ways to quickly respond to crises with new tools. One example is the collaboration that AB SCIEX recently formed with Phenomenex. The two companies are working together and with leading industry experts to respond to new food crises rapidly, providing labs with turnkey, verified LC/MS/MS methods that save time and money.
There are many key elements in developing good food testing methods. While only six of those elements are presented here, labs continuously evolve the science of food testing and their approaches to developing robust, accurate, and reliable food testing methods.
In our ever-growing global food market, food producers and food consumers ultimately have the same goal—to ensure safe, high quality goods. As much as we’d like to prevent them, food safety crises like the detection of carbendazim in orange juice are likely to occur in the future. Through innovations in technology and expansion of expertise, responses to these crises will continue to improve and will reduce—and ultimately eliminate—the global impact of food scares.
Lauryn Bailey, PhD, is global marketing manager of food and environmental markets for AB SCIEX. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rapid quantitation and identification of carbendazim in orange juice using LC-MS/MS. Andre Schreiber and Lauryn Bailey, AB SCIEX technical notification. Available at: www.absciex.com/Documents/Downloads/Literature/Carbendazim-orange-juice_AB-SCIEX_ 4980212-02.pdf.
- Method validation and quality control procedures for pesticide residues analysis in food and feed, Document No. SANCO/10684/2009. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/plant/protection/resources/qualcontrol_en.pdf.
- Guidelines for validation of analytical methods for non-agricultural pesticide active ingredients and products. Biocides and Pesticides Unit, U.K. Available at: www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/copr/pdfs/validation.pdf.
- Guidance for industry: Analytical procedures and methods validation. Chemistry, manufacturing, and controls documentation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FDA. Available at: www.labcompliance.de/documents/FDA/FDA-Others/Laboratory/f-505-method-validation-draft.pdf.