Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Proficiency test on the determination of furan in baby food

Funded under: FP7-JRC


The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) was requested by the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) to organise a proficiency test on the determination of furan in baby food in 2008. The aim of the proficiency testing (PT) was to support the implementation of Commission Recommendation 2007/196/EC which recommends Member States to monitor the presence of furan in foodstuffs that have undergone heat treatment. The organisation of the study as well as the evaluation of the results was done in accordance with "The International Harmonised Protocol for the Proficiency Testing of Analytical Chemistry Laboratories". The test material was a commercial baby food consisting of carrot and potato puree. Altogether 25 laboratories from 16 EU Member States subscribed for participation in the study, which was free of charge for the participants. They were asked to determine the furan content in the test samples by application of their usual in-house analytical methods. The laboratories were requested to report the results via a web-interface into a secured database. In total, 22 data sets were reported to the organisers of the study. Details regarding the applied analytical methods were requested from the participants too. The assigned value for the furan content of the test material was established by an isotope dilution GC-MS method. The target standard deviation was calculated according to the Thompson-modified Horwitz equation. The performance of laboratories was expressed by z-scores, which are considered satisfactory if |z|>/=2. 16 out of 22 (73%) participants reported results that were rated satisfactory. Six laboratories (27 %) reported results |z|> 2. In two cases, underperforming might be due to calculation mistakes, since the reported values deviated from the assigned value by more than a factor of 10.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 23544EN (2008), 26 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: LA-NA-23544-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-10365-0
Record Number: 200910256 / Last updated on: 2009-07-06
Original language: en
Available languages: en