Laboratory proficiency testing is an essential element of quality assurance and it is an expectation that laboratories accredited to BS EN ISO/IE 17025 participate in relevant schemes. Together with laboratory accreditation and the use of validated methods, it is an important requirement of the EU Additional Measured Directive 93/99/EC applying to laboratories entrusted with the official control of food. We understand the increasing demands for independent proof of competence from you and regulatory authorities as a laboratory testing samples for safety and quality.
We therefore participate in the following schemes:
Food Analysis Performance Assessment Scheme (FAPAS)
This is organised by the Proficiency Testing Group at Central Science Laboratory (CSL).
FAPAS provides proficiency testing for the chemical analysis of foods in a wide range of categories:
1. Typical Instrumental Procedures
Gas chromatography (GC), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and trace element analysis
2. Proximate and Nutrient Component Analysis
Fat, nutritional elements (sodium, potassium, zinc, calcium etc)
3. Those of Analytical Difficulty
Allergens, vitamins and nitrate
FAPAS UKAS accredited proficiency testing number is 0009.
The Federation of Oils, Fats and Fats Associates (FOSFA)
FOSFA was formed in 1971 and is a professional international contract issuing and arbitral body concerned exclusively with the world trade in oilseeds, oils, fats and edible groundnuts.
We are a FOSFA Analyst Member and participate in the performance and accreditation test programme.
Tests include: Titre, Insoluble Impurities, Free Fatty Acids, Iodine Value, Moisture and Volatile Matter, Colour, Softening Point, Admixture, Glucosinolate and Oil Content.
Limulus Proficiency Testing Scheme
This is organised by Charles River Laboratories for the analysis of endotoxins.
Foreign Body Analysis Proficiency Scheme
FOBS is organised by CCFRA Technology Ltd for the identification of foreign material in food. The samples are presented in a manner similar to that typically found in day to day analytical work with a brief sample history indicating where the sample is supposed to have been found by the complainant. The laboratory is asked to report the identification of the sample. The laboratory is then able to assess their laboratory performance against the actual identification of the sample.
Genetically Modified Materials Analysis Scheme (GeMMA)
The scheme is organised by the Proficiency Testing Group at CSL for the testing of genetically modified soya and maize.
For any new GMO entering the market, EC 1829/2003 requires a scientific evaluation to be undertaken to assess the risks to human or animal health and/or the environment. This together with EC 641/2004 establishes a detailed authorisation procedure or such materials and defines a labelling threshold value of 0.9% for GM material, below which labelling is not required provided that its presence is adventitious or technically unavoidable.
In addition, EC 1830/2003 makes specific requirements to ensure traceability and labelling of products consisting of or containing GMOs and requires Member States to ensure that inspections and other control measures are carried out, including sample checks and testing (qualitative and quantitative), to ensure compliance with regulation.
In light of this there is increasing pressure on laboratories to ensure that reliable and accurate analysis is carried out.
GeMMA UKAS accredited proficiency testing number is 0009.