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Metrology for Safe Food and Feed: Accurate measurements of mycotoxins - comparison launched

The BIPM has launched the first in a series of comparisons on mycotoxin calibrations solutions to support National Metrology Institutes that have participated in the BIPM Metrology for Safe Food and Feed Programme and which are establishing measurement capabilities and certified reference materials for their food testing sectors.

The first comparison, CCQM-K154.a, which is currently under way, focuses on Zearalenone calibration solutions. Zearalenone is a mycotoxin produced by certain Fusarium and Gibberella species of fungi and may be found world-wide in a number of cereal crops such as maize, barley, oats, wheat and rice. Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans and animals, and regulations have been established world-wide for certain food- and feedstuffs to protect their health. The comparison will underpin NMI capabilities for producing and value assigning mycotoxin calibrants, which provide the basis for accurate and traceable measurements in the food analysis sector.

Sixteen visiting scientists from NMIs have undertaken secondments in the BIPM laboratories in the period 2016-2018 related to Mycotoxin Standards Knowledge Transfer. Information on the programme and other related activities on mycotoxin standards and measurement methods have also been disseminated via regional workshops. In 2018, workshops were held in Pretoria (South Africa) as part of the Africa Food Safety Workshop organized by NMISA on 4-8 June 2018, and most recently in INTI, Buenos Aires (Argentina) with the SIM Regional Workshop "Metrological approaches to mycotoxin measurements", which was held on 17-19 September 2018.

The comparison series on mycotoxin calibrants, coordinated by the BIPM, will also cover aflatoxin B1, deoxynivalenol and patulin. Further information on the programme can be found here Mycotoxin metrology CBKT project.

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