Develop and define the most appropriate testing methods for multiple players in the food chain
Measuring and analysing the risk from contaminants in an ingredient, a component or finished food product is a critical part of ensuring food safety and quality in the food chain. There are often strict rules and regulations defining the methods for measuring and analysing hazards in foods. However, the situation is not always so clear for contaminants that may not be a health risk, but which can spoil food products – such as enzymes or heat-resistant spores.
The lack of universally accepted, standardised methods can cause confusion in the chain, for instance between ingredient and component suppliers and the food manufacturers using their products. With as many as 10-20 different methods available for microbial testing of particular microbial groups, the results often vary depending on which method each company uses and the interpretation.
Furthermore, some testing methods are not appropriate for certain food and novel food products. And the increase in plant-based alternative products creates additional challenges, due to the very broad range of sources and processes. By acting together in a Joint Industry Program, we can mutually come to an agreement to use the same method, to ensure consistent results. But how do you choose the most appropriate method?
As an independent player, NIZO can provide an impartial approach to evaluating the various possible methods for quantifying and detecting certain contaminants. We combine this with our expertise in (bio)chemistry and microbiology, and our experience in the food industry. This enables us to determine which methods offer the best, most consistent results that will meet the needs of both suppliers and users. We have already proven the value of our partnership with industry consortia.