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Food and feed safety and quality


Specific Objectives:
1. Establishment at IRMM of the JRC Food and Feed Laboratory. - Fully install the laboratories for operational use by December 2003. - Start the preparation of the accreditation procedure according ISO 17025 for the laboratories especially for feed analysis: selection of suitable procedures and accrediatation body by November 2003;
2. Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) on Feed Additives. - Inititate co-ordination of the future Community Reference Laboratory on Feed Additives; contact experts by July 2003. Organise a meeting with DG SANCO National Laboratories by September 2003. - Provide an overview on state-of-the-art of problems and analytical methods; report by December 2003;
3. Research on Animal Feed Safety. - Determine banned meat and bone meal; report by October 2003 - Determine antibiotics and growth promoters in animal feed by December 2003 - Determine dioxins in feed by appropriate screening methods by December 2003;
4. Animal by-products â€" Support to the TSE priorities - Evaluate suitable markers for banned animal by-products proposed by Member States in co-operation with DG SANCO; report by September 2003 - Organise a meeting on markers by July 2003. - Organise a conference on analytical methodologies used for TSE related food and feed safety issues by December 2003 - Develop method for detection of tallow in feed; report by September 2003 - Initiate the organisation of a validation study regarding detection of selected markers date depending on results of evaluation by end 2003 - Provide European survey of appropriate sterilisation conditions of meat and bone meal; report by June 2003 - Organise a proficiency test for detection of meat and bone meal with official feed laboratories on behalf of DG SANCO; report by May 2003;
5. Food contaminants and residues - Finalise a validation study of a simple method for aflatoxin determination involving developing countries; report by March 2003 - Organise two validation studies for mycotoxins using two new in-house developed detection methods; report by December 2003. - Develop a new method for the determination of patulin in support to DG SANCO for preparation of new legislative limits by May 2003 - In-house validate the suitable method for patulin determination by July 2003 - Organise a validation study regarding the method by December 2003 - Finalise a monitoring study regarding mycotoxin contents in beer by July 2003 - Develop rapid methods for fusarium toxins in cereals; report by April 2003 - Finalise a validation study regarding a screening method for dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls; report by March 2003 - Develop extraction methods for polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins by April 2003. - Provide feasibility study for using the polymerase chain reaction as detection tool for dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls; report by July 2003. -Achieve the development of a LC-MS method for fluoroquinolone antibiotics in meat products and validate it through an international collaborative trial in order to provide a new reference analytical method. Report on new method using LC-MS by December 2003;
6. Smoke Flavourings. Collect analytical methods able to identify and/or characterise primary product by February 2003. Organise a workshop on analytical methods in Brussels on 12 February 2003. Organise a second workshop, 1 April 2003 Organisation of a third workshop, 13th June 2003. Report on state-of-the-art regarding analytical methodologies by April 2003. Develop a method for PAH determination in smoke flavourings by September 2003. Validate in-house the most suitable method; report by September 2003. Provide feasibility study on a screening method based on toxicological properties; report by October 2003;
7. Food Allergies. Finalise in-house validation of screening methods for peanut allergen detection in various food matrices; report by February 2003. Validate three screening methods based on enyzme linked immunoassay for peanut allergens; report by October 2003. Develop extraction methods for peanut and hazelnut proteins by October 2003. Investige the various matrices used for production of a standard peanut material regarding their allergenic fractions; report by December 2003. Organise a meeting on peanut allergens by April 2003. Support the production of a peanut standard (performed by RMU) by getting the materials and information required and by scientific advice by July 2003;
8. Organic Food. Investigate selected food products from the two farming practices concerning their contamination with mycotoxins and the in-house assessment of analytical approaches for distinction between organic and conventional food; report by April 2003. Validate in-house a study regarding a holistic method; harmonised method description by October 2003. Initiate collaborative trial study for above-mentioned method; Kick-off meeting November 2003. Organise an international conference regarding analytical methodologies for organic food by September 2003;
9. Acrylamide in Food. Collect methods used in Member States and food industry; report by February 2003. Establish a common database (together with food industry) regarding food monitoring data (by February 2003) and maintain through 2003 and beyond. Prepare a review report on analytical methods by June 2003. Validate in-house the most suitable methods; report by May 2003. Organise validation of the most suitable methods by December 2003. Organise a workshop with laboratories on behalf of DG SANCO by May 2003. Organise a proficiency test for official food laboratories in collaboration with RMU regarding test materials by September 2003;
10. Food Microbiology. Investigate on the establishment of appropriate food microbiology laboratories at IRMM after a thorough feasibility study; feasibility report by August 2003;
11. Support to Candidate Countries. Support Candidate Countries in implementation of laboratory matters of EU food and feed legislation (continuation of FP5). Organise a workshop on the problem of measuring at levels required by legal limits 17-18 March 2003; report by May 2003. Organise a workshop on Proficiency testing in collaboration with FLEP (food law enforcement practitioners), CRLs (Community Reference Laboratories) and DG SANCO by November 2003. Organise a workshop on analysis of nitrofurane derivatives by November 2003;
12. Provide continuous scientific advice. Ad-hoc and continuous scientific advice including interservice consultations and providing food chemistry/analysis expertise in emerging situations (permanent activity). Anticipated milestones and schedule
Planned Deliverables:
3.1 New methods concerning feed ingredients, additives and contaminants;
4.1 Feasibility studies on various potential markers;
4.2 In-house and inter-laboratory validation of methods for the detection of selected markers;
5.1 Validated analytical methods for various mycotoxins, trace elements (heavy metals) and dioxins;
6.1 Validated analytical procedures for the assessment of the composition of flavourings;
7.1 Methods for detection (and quantification) of food allergens;
7.2 Peanut reference material to be used for testing in food and patients.
Summary of the Action:

This activity aims to supply competent scientific advice to: policy makers (customer DGs) in technical discussions for the establishment of European food and feed legislation official food and feed control laboratories in EU Member States and EU Candidate Accession Countries for implementation of EU legislation EU Scientific Committees and the European Food Safety Authority. Reliable and robust analytical methods are essential to: assess the compliance with legislation and to ensure consumer protection acquire sound analytical data, e.g. in monitoring studies for exposure assessment and further risk assessment solve disputes in trade problems The working areas in this action are mainly: method development and/or improvement in case appropriate approaches are not available method validation (in-house and inter-laboratory) in order to obtain reference methods training of laboratories upon request in specific methodologies Rapid screening methods and confirmatory methods are dealt with likewise.

Strong networking (also reflected by participation in ERA) will facilitate the co-ordination of the work carried out in food and feed laboratories in EU Member States and Candidate Accession Countries. Networking is also essential for the task on co-ordinating the Community Reference Laboratory on Feed Additives. Monitoring of specific substances upon customer request at a European level is also foreseen in order to gain data for risk assessment in emerging fields. Rationale The White Paper on Food Safety proposes a new framework embracing the whole food chain. Amongst others it underlines the essential role of scientific advice, data collection and analysis. The activities in this action are in support to other Commission Services. However, also national official food control laboratories and international standardisation bodies will have a benefit. As the quality of surveillance data (e.g. for exposure assessment for further risk assessment) is strongly dependent on the performance of the analytical methods used, harmonised methods are essential. The work in this action mainly consists of method development and in-house-laboratory and inter- laboratory validation in order to provide a basis for harmonising analytical procedures.

A strong in-house expertise in the area of food and feed analytical control guarantees that problems of various kinds (e.g. natural and man-made toxicants, ingredients, additives etc.) can be handled in order to deliver scientific and technical (analytical) support also in urgent and unexpected cases. The understanding of food chemistry and technological matters are crucial in order to carry out the work.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/allergology/food allergy
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
  • /agricultural sciences/animal and dairy science/animal husbandry/animal feed

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
B-2440 Geel