China Section of AOAC INTERNATIONAL

Forum 1 Special Forum on Tracking Assessment of Food Safety National Standards

Forum 1 Special Forum on Tracking Assessment of Food Safety National Standards


A special forum on the tracking assessment of food safety national standards was held on May 14, 2019 during the conference, with a view to push forward the tracking of inspection method standards for food safety national standards, promote the technical exchanges and cooperation between national standard inspection methods related to food safety and international standards, improve the level of food safety national standards, and strengthen the international recognition and influence of food safety national standards.


The forum was co-chaired by Xiao Jing, Director of Division IV of Food Safety Standards at China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA), and Zhou Qi, Vice-Chairman of China Inspection and Testing Society (CITS). Present at the event were 13 Chinese expert representatives, including Dr. Liang Chengzhu, President of AOAC China Section, and representatives from various professional groups of the tracking assessment program on inspection method standards for food safety national standards, as well as 7 foreign representatives, including David B. Schmidt, President of AOAC. Besides, almost 200 professionals at home and abroad attended the forum and took part in the Q&A session.

Dr. Liang Chengzhu, President of AOAC China Section, introduced the on-going tracking assessment work for China's national food safety inspection method standards, and stressed that a comparative study with international standards will become a key part of the tracking assessment work in 2019.

Mr. Erik Konings, Chairman of AOAC SPSFAM program and AOAC/ISO/IDF representative, introduced the verification of “comparison templates” through examples of Vitamin D and the aerobic bacterial count, discussed technical details of related standards and drew conclusions. Regarding the Vitamin D project, AOAC2016.05 |ISO 20636:2018 and GB 5009.82-2016 (Method 3) may give different testing results for the same sample, while GB 5009.82-2016 (Method 4) and ISO 14892:2002/IDF 177:2002 may give the similar results for the sample. Regarding the aerobic bacterial count project, GB 4789.2-2016 and ISO/BAM/AOAC may give the same result due to similar plate colony counting methods, but the ISO/AOAC/BAM methods are the best pick. ISO/AOAC/BAM have published authentication data, which can prove the adaptability of methods. Through collaborative research and third party reviews, these methods are globally recognized.

Lv Ning, Director of the Food Additives Laboratory of Qingdao Customs Technical Center, on behalf of Chinese experts, shared his views on the comparison of related vitamin D standards. He said both AOAC 2016.05|ISO 20636:2018 and GB 5009.82-2016 (Method 3) have merits and demerits. For infant formula food with intensified vitamin D levels, these standard methods may still get similar results under specific saponification conditions, but there is a consensus that the quantification of isotope-labeled internal standards of D3-d6 is more accurate than that of D3-d3. He suggested the adoption of isotope-labeled internal standards of D3-d6 in the revised editions of standards. GB 5009.82-2016 (Method 4) and ISO 14892:2002/IDF 177:2002 may give similar results for the same sample, but ISO 14892:2002 adopts the re-dissolution handling of the sample, which has improved the durability of the method, and is worth learning of other standard methods.  

Zhang Xiuli, Director of the Laboratory of Henan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, on behalf of Chinese experts, expressed her opinions on the comparison of related standards for the aerobic bacterial count. She said that GB 4789.2-2016 is basically in line with the U.S. FDA BAM chapter 3. When suggesting the revision of the standard, we should add the inspection of samples applicable to the environment, so as to make up for the current situation of the lack of inspection methods for the aerobic bacterial count of the food production and processing environment in China; add the requirements and scope of method precision, so as to keep pace with ISO4833; add ready-to-use culture medium so as to meet the demand for quick and convenient inspection.

In the Q&A session, as the author of the GB 5009.82 revision project, Huang Baifen, Director of the Laboratory of Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the project group has noticed the influence of derivatization condition on D3-d3 isotope-labeled internal standard quantification, and will consider the use of D3-d6 isotope-labeled internal standards based on experimental results.


Through the exchange and discussion for three hours, the attendees have generally recognized that comparison templates suggested by AOAC experts are applicable to comparative studies of national and international standards, and can help us discover key technological contents that may lead to the differences of standards, which are essential to the guidance of the follow-up laboratory testing work. Various professional groups of the tracking assessment work pledged to actively participate in the subject selection and implementation of the subsequent comparison work.

Xiao Jing, Director of Division IV of Food Safety Standards at CFSA, delivered concluding remarks, saying that inspection method standards for food safety national standards should be scientific, adaptable and operable, and can address the matching problem with common standards and product standards in food safety national standards. Besides, the introduction of advanced and accurate methods into national standards through comparative analysis between national standards and relevant international regulations, methods and standards will play a positive role in raising the overall level of food safety national standards highlighting inspection methods, improving the international recognition and influence of food safety national standards, and establishing the most rigorous standards. Various professional groups of tracking assessment can further carry out the international comparison work based on the original work.