European Union Reference Laboratory for mycotoxins
Type of the activity: European Union Reference Laboratory
The Regulation (EC) No 776/2006 nominates the Joint Research Centre as the European Union reference laboratory (EURL) for mycotoxins. It is established at the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) and works together with appointed national reference laboratories (NRLs) of the EU Member States.
Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by fungi growing in food and animal feed. As about 20 % of food products, mainly of plant origin, can be contaminated with mycotoxins, European legislation sets maximum limits to protect the consumers. To ensure that results from the laboratories monitoring food and feed fulfil the requirements of legislation, any method that is used for analysis of goods must meet established and accepted performance criteria. Therefore, the EURL for mycotoxins co-ordinates activities related to the development and improvement of methods of analysis for the official control of the maximum levels.
Objectives: to facilitate the implementation of European legislation related to monitoring of mycotoxins in food of plant origin and animal feed.
Description of the tasks
The main tasks of the EURL for mycotoxins are:
- method development and validation
- organising comparative testing
The activities of the EURL concern aflatoxin B1, total aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins B1 & B2 and T-2 & HT-2 toxin, and ergot alkaloids.
The IRMM and the EURL for mycotoxins develop analytical approaches and validate them in-house. In case a method is suitable and robust enough, the EURL organises an international collaborative study to validate the method and to assess the method performance. The collaborative studies are carried out according to an internationally harmonised validation protocol.
Interlaboratory comparisons organised by the EURL for the NRLs enable them to assess their performance and allow improving the overall correctness of analytical results for mycotoxins.
Dr. Jorg Stroka
European Union Reference Laboratory for Mycotoxins
European Commission – Joint Research Centre
Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
B-2440 Geel, Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)14 571 229
Fax: +32 (0)14 571 783
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org