Analysis of chemical trace contaminants in foods: performance and limits




Quality & Safety


Chemical contaminants are present at very low levels (traces, ultra-traces) in food commodities. The European regulation is continuously evolving on this issue, including more and more contaminants or lowering their regulated levels in feed and food. Examples of chemical contaminants under regulation are pesticides, veterinary drug residues, mycotoxins, persistent organic pollutants and migrants from packaging. Monitoring plans or control plans are performed annually by state members with a view of either assessing chemical risks for the consumers or checking the conformity of their foodstuffs. In addition, stakeholders and companies in the food industry are in demand of regular controls of their raw matter and production, to anticipate unexpected contaminations and manage chemical hazards. So, analytical results provided by the laboratories need to be reliable as false results may have health or economic impacts. We will give in this webinar an overview of the steps required to succeed in analyzing chemical contaminants in foodstuffs and the main questions to be answered for choosing proper conditions for the analysis. Performance criteria used to assess the quality of analytical results will be also discussed (such as limits of detection and quantification, precision, trueness). Some examples of main difficulties encountered that may hinder the analysis or bias the results will be detailed on illustrative chemical contaminants (matrix effects will be particularly discussed as they are common for food samples). We will conclude with some insights of the future challenges to chemical food safety, such as the identification of new chemical hazards, the analysis of mixture of contaminants present in the same food commodity, and the development of non-targeted analytical approaches. This webinar should be useful for participants to understand and discuss an analytical result related to chemical contaminants in food.

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Pesticides; Veterinary drug residues; Mycotoxins; Persistent organic pollutants

Provider - Source: 

Prof. Valérie Camel, AgroParisTech



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