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Determination of the major components in food is required for the control of nutritional labelling (EC Council Directive 90/496/EEC), for nutritional surveys and for the compilation of food composition tables and databases. Although the methodology is generally considered to be well established, inter-laboratory studies have revealed a surprisingly poor level of reliability in many laboratories. This paper describes the development of five reference materials (whole milk powder, pork muscle, rye and wheat flour and haricot beans) and the procedures used to establish certified or indicative values for major components, major elements and vitamins. Homogeneity and stability of three categories of these proved to be adequate. Certification of Kjeldahl nitrogen, total fat, lactose, total dietary fibre (AOAC method), ash, Na, K, Mg, Ca and Cl contents was successful. In contrast, only indicative values could be given for starch and sugars, nonstarch polysaccharides and P because of insufficient agreement between laboratories. Indicative values for retinol, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin B(1), vitamin C and niacin in some of these materials could be given.

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Authors: HOLLMAN P C H, DLO-State Institute for Quality Control of Agricultural Products, Wageningen (NL);BOENKE A, CEC Bruxelles (BE);WAGSTAFFE P J, CEC Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Fresenius' Journal of Analytical Chemistry (1993) No. 345, pp. 174-179
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