Thermo Fisher Scientific
In order to protect consumers and the environment, monitoring the food supply to ensure levels of chemical residues and contaminants are compliant with statutory levels set by regulatory bodies is imperative. Because regulations differ in different parts of the world, analytical food testing laboratories and food manufacturers must first navigate the complexity of regulatory frameworks before considering the analysis. Detecting and quantifying the presence of many thousands of residues and contaminants from different chemical classes at potentially extremely low levels in diverse food commodities and products is very challenging. This challenge is further complicated when we consider that food products are traded in complex global supply chains, for which details of the history of products, such as cultivation, treatment, storage and processing, are often unknown. For example, the use of pesticides to protect crops from pests during cultivation, storage and transport will often leave detectable residues in food, while persistent organic pollutants in the soil, water or in the air can contaminate crops and chemicals in food packaging materials can leach into the food. Biocides used in food preparation facilities can lead to contamination of food. These are just a few examples of many sources of contamination. It is easy to see why the comprehensive analysis of individual samples often requires multiple analysis by a range of analytical techniques, such as liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and gas chromatography in combination with selective detectors and or mass spectrometers, as well as spectroscopic techniques.
This compendium focuses on gas chromatographic solutions applicable to testing laboratories involved in food-related analyses.
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