• How Safe is Our Food? 

Environmental Laboratory

How Safe is Our Food? 

Feb 28 2014

This is a volatile issue for many consumers and a major challenge for the food-analysis sector. The only way to perform quality and origin analyses is with state-of-the-art equipment and techniques. That is why the topic of food analysis is an interdisciplinary focal point at analytica 2014 in Munich from April 1–4. The comprehensive range of exhibits at analytica makes it easy for trade visitors to get the right answers to their specific questions. More than 1,100 international exhibitors will present their latest analysis devices there—including those for food analysis. In addition, the latest techniques and methods will be presented at the analytica Conference.

"Food is required to meet stringent safety and quality standards. Raw materials and final products must be strictly and carefully monitored," explains Exhibition Director Susanne Grödl. "analytica gives trade visitors an overview of the latest developments and methods in quality control in the industry and for the consumer."

In the field of classic food analysis, for example, Axel Semrau will present a new chromatography system that simplifies the identification of sterines, which play an important role in olive oils. Bruker will present an NMR spectrometer for rapid and time-resolved analyses to detect solid fats in chocolate or determine the
total fat, oil and moisture content of foods.

Modern molecular biology methods continue to increase in significance in food analysis. For example, DNA analyses can now be used to detect allergens, unwanted animal or vegetable ingredients and genetically modified organisms. For example, the foodproof RoboPrep HT robot system from BIOTECON can conduct automated quick tests on pathogens, genetically modified organisms, allergens or animal species. The system combines fully automated processing of food samples and the subsequent PCR in a single device.

In the sector for microbiological analysis, BioLumix will be at the stand of IUL Systems to present a system that simplifies microbiological analyses in food and cosmetics production. The results are ready within hours and are automatically forwarded to product approval. Analysis techniques for testing the quality of drinking water are becoming faster and more precise. The PAMAS WaterViewer, an automatic particle counter, can detect the size and number of all particles in water. The system quickly recognises certain bacteria, which makes it more meaningful than measuring turbidity.

Food analysts can use increasingly specific methods and techniques in their work. Internationally renowned scientists will present their latest research findings in this field at the analytica Conference. New methods for analyzing water will be the focus of a symposium titled "The New Challenge in Water Analysis: Metabolites, Transformation Products and Non-Target Analysis" under the direction of Professor Thorsten C. Schmidt from Duisburg-Essen University on April 1 (11:00–3:30 in Room 3). Visitors should also be sure not to miss the symposium on "Modern Analytical Tools to Ensure Safety and Authenticity of Food" on April 3 (13:30–16:30 in Room 3). It features five lectures that explain how to detect hidden mycotoxins in food and what problems still exist, for example.

Those who participate in the Live Lab for Food Analysis in Hall B2 will get a concrete look at trace analysis. It features 30-minute presentations at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 on Tuesday and Thursday and at 11:00 and 13:00 on Friday. They focus on techniques for identifying pathogenic germs or analyzing hazardous residues such as pesticides or heavy metals. Experts will demonstrate methods for analyzing the origin of raw materials and detecting antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals. Visitors will also learn how to identify endocrine disrupters and discover new approaches in PCR analysis, mycotoxin
analysis and quality control.

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