Food testing quality assurance program opens

Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Food testing quality assurance program opens

The second exercise of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Food Nutrition and Safety Quality Assurance Program has commenced; this program helps food laboratories demonstrate their competence to regulators, consumers and other concerned parties.

Since the accuracy results of tests done by food labs are critical for manufacturer and consumer confidence, it is important to establish that they can be trusted to perform tests properly and in a scientific manner. Participants in the QA program analyse some materials and share their results with NIST. Subsequently the labs are able to compare their results with both other participants and with a standard measurement for each material analysed. This allows for a laboratory to assess (and be assessed on) the state of their testing methodology and instruments.

Participants are provided with certificates of participation, which serve as proof that the lab is acting diligently and methodically. A final report on the testing regime is also made public, though participants’ identities are confidential. Workshops and webinars will be run to discuss the results and any advancements that have been made in measurement techniques.

The quality assurance program is open to international labs. Exercise 2 of the program is specifically for studies on nutritional elements, choline, carnitine, carotenoids, and fatty acids in infant formula, toxic elements in powdered cocoa and chocolate drink mix, glyphosate in foods, and phthalates in infant formula and foods.

Registration for the program closes on 4 March.

Image credit: © Stutio

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