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LGC scientists discuss the science behind food safety

15 Sep 2014
Three scientists from the Science and Innovation division have been invited to share their expertise during a free eSeminar series for scientists working in food safety.
The series, ‘Advances in Food Safety Analysis’, covers the detection and characterisation of contaminants, food chain quality, adulteration detection and authenticity.
Phil Dunn, a researcher from the inorganic analysis team, will discuss the use of isotope ratio measurements in the determination of food authenticity and origin.
Phil will provide an introduction to stable isotope ratios and how isotopic variations can be useful in determining food authenticity and origin. He will also outline some of the difficulties associated with analysis and recommends the Good Practice Guide for IRMS, published by LGC in collaboration with the Forensic Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (FIRMS) network, which can help address potential pitfalls and offers technical assistance to those performing analysis.  
Malcolm Burns, principal scientist and special adviser to the Government Chemist, will explain the role of DNA and real-time PCR for GMO analysis during his presentation. He will introduce some of the key concepts in best measurement practice guidelines through the use of reference materials and involvement in external quality assessment exercises. He will also explore some of the analytical issues surrounding GMO analysis and will summarise by providing a tool-kit and resources to help support best measurement practice guidance in this area.
Michael Walker, consultant science manager and referee analyst for the Government Chemist programme, will outline why food allergen detection is a priority area for the food sector. He will outline developments in regulation and the implications for businesses and regulators. Michael will outline the techniques that are available for analysis, the need for method validation and the requirement for well-characterised control materials to aid quality control. Michael concludes with some advice on results interpretations and supply chain security.
The eSeminar series has been organised by Separation Science and is free to register. Presentations will be broadcast on:  
  • 16 September, 9am or 4pm: Malcolm Burns - GMO Analysis and Best Measurement Practice
  • 18 September, 9am or 4pm: Phil Dunn - The Use of Isotope Ratio Measurements in the Determination of Food Authenticity/Origin
  • 23 September, 9am or 4pm: Michael Walker - Quality Assurance and Results Interpretation in Allergen Analysis
For the full programme of speakers, visit the Separation Science website.