This quality control material is paprika, which is provided in a powder form. The analytes of interest on this occasion are Aflatoxins. Aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen produced by the Aspergillus flavous and Aspergillus parasiticus moulds which commonly grow and can be found in many food types such as spices.
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.
Paprika can be found across a large range of foodstuffs as both a core ingredient and as a seasoning spice. Being a blend of various peppers it is imperative that flexible testing practices are utilised to highlight poor quality, or potentially unsafe mycotoxin levels.
To achieve the flexible high quality testing practices required to assess the levels of mycotoxins within paprika tests, well-designed quality assurance programmes are required.
Fapas quality control materials can be used to standardise your testing methods within your food laboratories. This can be through staff training applications as well as instrumentation verification techniques to asses any bias you may incur within your testing results.