This proficiency test is targeted at Ochratoxin A analysis, which has an EU MRL for many commodities. This proficiency test additionally includes analysis for Citrinin, a mycotoxin related to long-term storage.
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.
Flour is used within a wealth of different processed foodstuffs, as well as being sold as an individual product in its own right. As such there is a great demand globally for numerous flour varieties. The supply of flour is informed by crop production, and as such is seasonal. This creates storage challenges for many producers and manufacturers to satisfy demand throughout the year. Poor storage practices can result in excessive mycotoxin contamination, leading to low quality, potentially unsafe foodstuffs being offered to consumers.
Effective food testing arrangements must therefore be made to ensure high quality produce is offered to the customer, and also to challenge food storage practices to highlight any areas of improvement within manufacturers' supply chains.
Proficiency Testing from Fapas can help aid the maintenance of the high quality testing required. Fapas proficiency tests can also form the benchmark of a well-designed quality assurance programme to mitigate any risks of low quality testing, and provide your customers with the confidence they require in your results.