ProficIency Tests

Often, the supply chain has to deal with the assessment of the safety of materials in the face of warnings and updates of evidence on the impact on health that highlight the toxicity of particular substances.

Test methods for assessing the safety of objects are often not standardised and well defined. FCM alerts are sudden and challenging, and concern such a large number of contaminants that they are not managed by the standardization bodies that regulate test methods in other areas. A concrete way to address these issues is to confirm the hypothesized analytical methods, accompanying them with relative measurement uncertainty through collaborative tests.

Food Contact Services has a system that provides for totally anonymous participation in the circuits.

Food Contact Services has synergies with a network of professionals working in different organizations such as universities, accredited laboratories, national accreditation and control bodies, public and private companies.

These synergies make it possible to develop collaborative trials in which industry and academic and research institutions collaborate to define a solution through statistical evaluation of results related to a need that has emerged in the industrial and production sectors.

 Laboratory analysis results for critical contaminants must be accurate and tests must be reproducible.  The performance of one’s own quality assurance laboratory can only be judged by participating in cross-laboratory comparisons to counteract the production myopia that sometimes characterizes the markets.  In the tests we propose, homogeneous samples are sent to a significant number of laboratories, which participate free of charge, and are examined using the same measurement methods and the results are statistically evaluated centrally. Participation and the sending of results are fully covered by anonymity thanks to a specific encrypted system developed by a specialized agency, in compliance with ISO 27001.

 From the results, the initiators of the collaborative test and the participants can objectively determine the quality of their materials and analytical structures and thus compare themselves with others in the food and beverage industry, official food safety monitoring agencies, customs administrations or specialized and service institutes.  
At the end of the collaborative test, each laboratory will receive a report compliant with ISO 17043 and ISO 13528 standards and usable for the purpose of method accreditation.

The analytical evidence, with relative statistical evaluation, will be shared with the companies promoting the collaborative test.

Companies and laboratories can thus recognize in a clear, objective and understandable way how close they are to “true value” with their results and to what extent they are able to correctly analyze their products within limits of precision.  In addition, participation in collaborative trials allows you to evaluate the suitability and performance of various test methods and make any adjustments.

The team started years ago to share technical and analytical problems, knowledge and solutions: over the years an “informal network” has been created.
Food Contact Center participates in technical tables in Italy and Europe, and is part of the Petcore-KÖR NIAS testing Platform.
Many activities carried out over the years are related to specific projects, but by contacting the team it is still possible to share a large number of “lessons learned” by putting them at the service of your need.
Contact us if you are interested in collaborating as a sponsor or lab on the migration-based collaborative trial of:
  • NIAS from FCMs HS GC MS test, GC MS test, LC Q TOF/ORBITRAP test
  • PFAS from FCMs with TARGET-UNTARGET approach