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This product tastes off! From June 2011 newsletter

Methods for the detection of taints in food

There has been an increasing incidence of taints in food and drink in recent years, which has created problems for parts of the industry. The presence of a taint in a product is a significant cost to industry, creating large amounts of waste from spoiled products, and can present a potential health hazard to consumers.

There are three major sources of food taints - environment (e.g. direct contamination via exposure to a range of airborne chemicals, chlorinated cleaning fluids, phenols and solvents), packaging (e.g. migration or scalping), and microbial (microbial action on food components to produce taints, e.g. trichloroanisole, skatole, ethyl acetate).

A new member subscription–funded project is identifying causes for taints and developing strategies for their minimisation in food and drink, and is focusing initially on halophenols and haloanisoles.The aim is to have clearly defined methods for the detection of taints in a range of sample matrices by the end of the year, and to follow this up with guidance on taint formation, toxicity, how to avoid taint issues, and implications when contamination has occurred.

Contact: Danielle Sweeney
+44(0)1386 842022