New European project for the detection of chemical contaminants in food

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Faced with the continuous food alarms of recent times, the European Union, with the support of local governments, has launched the CONffIDENCE project, which tries to develop effective long-term tools for the detection of chemical contaminants in food. This initiative, coordinated by the Institute of Food Safety of the Netherlands, in which 10 countries participate, has in Spain two working groups belonging to the CSIC (Higher Center for Scientific Research).

Until now, both private industries and national organizations have methods for detecting chemical contaminants in food, but they are very expensive and also limited to a certain number of substances. Hence the need to replace these tests with other simpler, faster and cheaper ones, which also cover the largest number of contaminants.

The substances to detect are many, from pesticides, organic pollutants, pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, heavy metals or toxins from shellfish. Valid tests will be designed for many products, such as fish, feed or vegetables, combining simple technologies, such as test strips or simple laboratory techniques.

One of the CSIC research groups, coordinated by Damià Barceló, research professor at the Institute for Environmental Diagnosis and Water Studies (IDAEA), in Barcelona, ​​will focus on the analysis of residues of perfluorinated PFC compounds in food, as in fish and dairy products, and on the possible health effects of such residues, creating a European database on the real situation of these PFCs.

Another group will focus on the analysis, using highly advanced technologies, of antibiotic and pesticide residues in food. Costly initiatives that will take years of research, but that in the long run will improve food safety, for greater peace of mind for European consumers.

Via | Consumer.es food safety Direct to the Paladar | Chronicle of the case of milk adulterated with melamine En Directo al Paladar | All about food safety.

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