Within this proficiency test, your testing ability for a range of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A within infant food can be evaluated. An aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen produced by the Aspergillus flavours and Aspergillus parasiticus moulds which commonly grow and can be found in corn.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi on agricultural commodities in the field or during storage. It is estimated at 25% of the world's food crops are affected, resulting in large commercial losses. Mycotoxins can cause serious health problems, including some being suspected carcinogens, and so are tightly regulated across the world. Mycotoxin contamination is the largest cause of rapid alerts raised against imported food products. Fapas has introduced multi-mycotoxin proficiency tests as well as those for emerging mycotoxins.
Commercial infant food makes up a large proportion of infants' diets within an extremely important period of development. Usual characteristics of infant foods include the longer shelf life as oppose to fresh ingredients, this can lead to an increased risk of mycotoxin contamination due to the longer exposure to storage conditions which may or may not meet effective quality standards. To mitigate this risk food manufacturers rely on your food testing abilities to highlight any potential mycotoxin risk within foodstuffs, from which to address this supply chain issue and protect the end consumer. This places a large strain on your testing credibility and therefore overall testing ability.
Fapas proficiency tests highlight potential deficiencies within your testing process, such as highlighting any unconscious bias, through ineffective instrumentation calibration for example. By using real feed matrices your proficiency test results are immediately comparable to your routine analysis and as such can provide direct improvements from which to safeguard your high-quality testing practices.