The presence of metals in food is of particular concern due to their toxicity. Metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead are naturally occurring chemical compounds. They can be present at various levels in the environment, e.g. soil, water and atmosphere. Metals can also occur as residues in food because of their presence in the environment, as a result of human activities such as farming, industry or car exhausts or from contamination during food processing and storage. People can be exposed to these metals from the environment or by ingesting contaminated food or water. Their accumulation in the body can lead to harmful effects over time and their presence in foodstuffs is strictly regulated.
Their effects are various and far reaching, such as inhibiting nutrient absorption in the case of cadmium, whilst nickel is considered a sensitizer.
Sugar is a widely used ingredient in many foodstuffs; therefore, monitoring of heavy metal concentrations in sugar is important to ensure heavy metal contamination doesn’t enter the food chain.
Proficiency tests are useful for maintaining high quality across a range of testing environments. Through the use of real food matrices your proficiency test results are immediately comparable to your routine testing activities, allowing you to highlight areas of improvement across your testing practices quickly and effectively. This ensures your end results are credible, and repeatable across a range of testing environments.