China opens new food test lab
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/China-opens-new-food-test-lab
By Joanne Hunter, 12-May-2009
The first food-testing laboratory in China recognised to reach international standards for pesticide screenings, melamine and heavy metal testing and microbiological analyses, was opened last month by Eurofins in Suzhou.
ISO 17025 status, which was awarded by the German accreditation agency DACH, is proof it offers “the only independent food-testing laboratory in China that can provide a full international-standard service from start to finish”, said the laboratory group Eurofins.
It added that customers also benefit from “in-depth understanding of the Chinese food industry” in addition to peace of mind that products they import from China comply with European legislative demands and standards.
“Before, they [customers] weren’t able to rely on or trust goods imported,” Dr Werner Nader, head of marketing and sales, food analysis, told FoodProductionDaily.com.
The Suzhou laboratory will allow the food industry to draw on reliable testing for exports from China, mostly to Europe, the USA and Japan, prior to shipment. Eurofins also operates and organises services to control the supply chains of its customers, by sampling and auditing and inspection of those factories they buy from.
Meanwhile, a new service platform Eurofins Global Control is being launched to be adopted by the company’s laboratories in 30 countries where 150 facilities provide analysis in centres of food origin. The global presence and comprehensive analytical portfolio allows for the control of the supply chain by a neutral third party, said Eurofins.
The company believes testing and control to Eurofins standards will help minimise risks for industry and trade. For example, if goods have arrived in Europe out of specification, it is the responsibility of importers to pay for their disposal, and “all too frequently” goods turn out to be different from those allegedly tested prior to leaving their country of origin.
Eurofins has said it will “continue to invest in China to extend the laboratory’s capabilities as well as continuing its programme of expanding into many other important regions of sourcing for food”.
Systems for control and traceability include chemical and DNA fingerprinting, routinely used for olive oil for example. Nuts and dried fruits from Turkey are tested by Eurofins prior to shipment to the EU and sealed containers are shipped only after ‘positive release’.
Prior to the accreditation of the Chinese laboratory, validation of methods was by Eurofins’ laboratories in Europe, notably the Dr. Specht and WEJ laboratories in Hamburg, Germany.
Eurofins scientists serve on governmental and industry standardisation and technical committees including AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chemists International), CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) and ISO/CASCO (International Standardisation Organisation).
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