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Detection of unclaimed allergens is major issue for food recalls today

02 NOV,2017

Nitin Konde

Food testing labs are now playing a major role in beefing-up the security which can curb the food swindle radically. Processed food market is growing into multiple folds in India as well as globally but this rapidly growing market requires a structure that can prevent it from deceitful activities and also provide an austere and incessant monitoring. SCIEX one of the global leaders in providing the array of technologies that succour food testing labs and scientists to perform their duties effortlessly, while maintaining high quality standards. In an exclusive interview with NuFFooDS Spectrum, Dr Jianru Stahl Zeng, Global Application Manager, Food & Environment solutions, SCIEX highlights the current challenges of the food sector and shares how SCIEX is assisting the sector to overcome these hurdles.

Q. What role does the Food Testing Labs play in providing a healthy and nutritional food to any country?

Recently, the food market is flooded with many fraudulent activities and this has raised a major anxiety among the food business operators. Without having a highly equipped food testing labs, these deceitful practices are expected to rise significantly. So currently, food testing labs are acting as a perfect bridge between the food processing units to consumers’ dinner table. Nowadays, when we talk about food sector, it is not just merely another industry, it is more than a billion dollar industry which is growing rapidly so, we are speaking about the movement of a sector which contributes a major chunk to the global economy. In Europe, apart from installing food testing lab, the EU Committee has also deployed a food monitoring system which monitors domestic food but also the food items which are imported into the European market.

Q. How SCIEX is assisting these labs and food scientists to perform their task efficiently?

As compared to last few years, the food testing system has evolved considerably. It is mainly because the adulteration has grown to manifolds. For eg: for testing of pesticides, there are various compounds of pesticides that need to be tested. Every time a new pesticide is deducted, we need to upgrade system accordingly to conduct future tests. For that, in SCIEX, on one side, we have to provide a stable and sensitive instrument and on another side, we also have to assist our customer to develop an application method to deduct a specific type of pesticide that they want to.

Q. Why labelling is considered as one of the tools to curtail food fraud?

Well, the food labelling is one practice which all the global food regulators have been promoting across the countries. In western nations, labelling of food products is mandatory and every food business operator has to comply with that. This landscape of making food labelling a compulsion, is slowly gripping the Asian countries as well and it is a very positive sign.

Q. SCIEX has introduced a solution that can help labs to analysis pesticide residue can you elaborate on that?

Yes, SCIEX has developed an instrument called ‘Triple Quadrupole Instrument’ which enables our customers to test any food article to measure the amount of pesticide residue it contains. Liquid Chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-S/MS) using a triple quadrupole (QqQ) analyzer has in the last few years become a powerful technique for the determination of pesticide residues due to its robustness, and excellent sensitivity and selectivity.

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