Ensuring the safety of food and drink by chemical fingerprinting
A key requirement for ensuring the safety of food is confidence in its origin and the integrity of its supply chain.
The problem facing many companies is that to be effective in detecting fraudulent activity, they need to know what to look for in the material concerned. A member-funded research project will give members access to non-targeted analysis for ‘unknown hazards’ that gives more confidence in the safety of their food and drink products. This project will enable the development of applications for non-targeted screening, and statistical evaluation of data using advanced methods to detect ‘unknown hazards’.
So far the project has profiled herbs and spices (basil, oregano and sage), looked at wine authentication and conducted suspect screening in evaporated milk and infant formula. The project has also looked at non-intentionally added substances (NIAS).
NIAS safety must be ensured in accordance with Regulation EC No 1935/2004 and in practice their migration reduced to less than 10ppb. NIAS can be present in food contact materials (FCMs) and could migrate into food, but they are not added for technical reasons during the production process. Future project work will develop an analytical protocol, build in house libraries to identify NIAS and investigate NIAS at temperatures used for cooking or re-heating food in ovens and microwaves.
For more information see the project website