The MoniQA Association is looking for a motivated and communicative secretary to join our small team and assist the Secretary General at the Association’s Headquarters in Neutal, Burgenland, Austria.
The successful candidate will work in the new offices of the association in Neutal, Austria. He/she will complement our small team at the Association’s Headquarters. He/she will work independently in accomplishing office work, association administration, communication to members and collaborators from multi-cultural backgrounds, and directly reporting to the Secretary General. The successful candidate has good German and English language skills and will act as the first point of contact for queries. The advertised position is part time (15-25 hours a week) and based in the Technology Centre “Mittelburgenland” in Neutal. The salary according to previous experience is calculated as part time aliquote based on an Austrian "Kollektivvertrag“.
A full description of the advertised position in PDF format can be found attached to this posting.
If you are interested in this position, please send your CV and a cover letter (preferably by email in English) to
Dr. Roland Ernest Poms,
MoniQA Association, Werner-von-Siemens-Strasse 1, A-7343 Neutal, Austria; roland [dot] poms [at] moniqa [dot] org;
At the end of an eventful and successful year, we would like to thank all our members, friends and collaborators for their support and involvement in 2015. As a global network for food safety monitoring and quality assurance, MoniQA www.moniqa.org - first funded as an EU Network of Excellence and then established as an international association - has been active since 2007. We are happy to see that MoniQA is growing in numbers of involved network partners and collaborators, as well as in strength of impact with a number of new activities and plans for the years to come.
For more details please see MoniQA eNews Alert 2015-12-22
We would like to wish you a blessed Christmas time and a successful start in the New Year! We are looking forward to working with you in 2016!
On behalf of the MoniQA Association
Richard Cantrill (USA), President
Paul Finglas (UK), Vice-President
Roland Poms (Austria), Secretary General
It is time again to renew your MoniQA Association Membership for another year and benefit from MoniQA’s international network and a variety of activities and services. If you are not a member yet, please find below some membership benefits or see an activity report and some highlights from 2014-2015 in a PPT here:
1. Extend your professional scope and standing by joining one of MoniQA’s Task Forces: Food Allergen Reference Materials, Proficiency Testing for Mycotoxins, Emerging Issues
2. Easy access and interaction with a global network of experts
3. Easy access and involvement in international research proposals and projects funded by the EU, UNO, Bill Gates Foundation, governments, etc….
4. Training and education opportunities for teachers and students at universities and companies around the globe
5. Easy access to information and grants for personnel exchanges and mobility of researchers, trainers, teachers and students
6. Better international visibility of your institution
7. Discounts on conference, workshop, webinar participation
8. Qualifying to organise your own MoniQA conference or workshop or webinar at your institute or in your country
9. Use the membership and joint achievements to increase your impact and significance in your own country and internationally, which can be important to join a consortium or qualify for a grant or for a tender
10. Privileged information and pre-publication information on upcoming calls and tenders
11. Technical support and access to rare/expensive infra-structure
Please feel free to join any of MoniQA’s current activities. The invitation is open to all MoniQA Members and to those who are planning to sign-up in the near future.
MoniQA is an international and interdisciplinary network of professionals from institutions working in food research, regulatory bodies and trade, providing solutions to promote a safer and secure food supply worldwide. MoniQA facilitates international research collaborations to enable services and products for food safety & quality assurance. MoniQA contributes to the development and validation of analytical methods, provides training and continuous professional development (CPD), consultancy and socio-economic impact assessment.
1) Preparation and exploring research proposals for EU’s Horizon2020 Funding Programme. Examples of past and current project involvements of MoniQA are MoniQA NoE (FP6), PlantLibra (FP7), Connect4Action (FP7), iFAAM (FP7), and others. Currently MoniQA is facilitating project participation for members in Horizon 2020 calls for 2016.
2) Join MoniQA’s task force on emerging food safety and quality issues: discussion forum and exchange of experience to benefit MoniQA’s research agenda and collaboration agreements, new call texts (e.g. EU projects), workshop/conference themes, joint publications and opinion papers and support to other international organisations such as AOAC, AACCI, Codex, DIN, etc…
3) Join MoniQA’s task force on method validation: Preparation of guidelines and protocols for validation of screening methods, validation of binary methods, validation of mass spectroscopic methods, current focus on mycotoxins, allergens, and authenticity issues. MoniQA contributed in the past to AOAC guidelines and EU directives.
We would like to congratulate the awardees of the 5th MoniQA International Conference 2015! Selected by an international jury (Sean Astley, UK; Richard Cantrill, USA; Paul Finglas, UK; Olaf Nehlich, AT; Karin Zimmermann, NL; and Marija Zunabovic-Pichler, AT) the best abstract, best poster and best research work were premiered at the latest MoniQA Conference in Porto, Portugal, 16-18 September 2015.
The Highest Impact Award was received by Telmo Fernandes from REQUIMTE-LAQV, Portugal, www.requimte.pt/laqv/, on behalf of all co-authors for his work on “Evaluating the performance of a novel single-tube nested real-time PCR on the detection of walnut allergens in cakes as affected by thermal processing”. The Highest Impact Award in the value of € 1,800.- is an Open Access publication of this or a related research work in QAS – Quality Assurance and Safety of Foods & Crops. This award was sponsored by the publisher of QAS, Wageningen Academic Publishing, the Netherlands, www.wageningenacademic.com.
The Best Poster Award was received by Ricardo Assuncao from INSA - Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Portugal, www.insa.pt, on behalf of all co-authors for his work on “Risk assessment of Portuguese children dietary exposure to co-occurring mycotoxins in processed cereal-based foods”. This award was sponsored by R-Biopharm www.r-biopharm.com (MoniQA Member since 2012) with a 300.- € cash award.
The conference programme of the the 5th MoniQA International Conference "Food and Health - Risks and Benefits" will become available soon. Poster abstracts will still be accepted until 15 July 2015.
We are proud to introduce some of the keynote speakers:
Conference website: porto2015.moniqa.org
Registration: porto2015.moniqa.org/register. Early Bird Registration ends on 15 July 2015 (received fee)!
Abstract submission for posters: porto2015.moniqa.org/abstract_submission ends on 15 July 2015!
Make your hotel room reservation now at porto2015.moniqa.org/accommodation
Become an official sponsor: porto2015.moniqa.org/sponsoring
MoniQA proudly presents its newest membership category: Micro-companies can enjoy the full suite of benefits of a regular membership in MoniQA at half price. Starting in 2015 legal persons/consultants/one-man companies and small companies (SMEs) with less than 6 employees and a turn over less than 400,000.- € per year may qualify for a 50 % discounted membership fee in MoniQA. For 500.- € per year micro-companies can enjoy immediate benefits within MoniQA's Global Food Safety and Quality Network including the services listed below.
Additionally, micro-companies may enjoy a new offer (coming soon!) to sign up for a joint membership in MoniQA www.moniqa.org and EuroFIR www.eurofir.org for a further discounted price. For only 800.- € per year micro-companies will get high value services offered by both associations at a low price and covering food data and information underpinning nutrition and public health aspects.
Sign up for Membership in MoniQA or jointly in MoniQA/EuroFir today and start benefiting from the associations' international network and a variety of activities and services (details can be found on www.moniqa.org/about/association and www.eurofir.org/?page_id=255).
Some membership benefits are listed as follows:
After 6 consultations MoniQA's international task force on Food Allergen Reference Materials will meet again in Porto, Portugal, in the morning of 16 September 2015 ahead of the 5th MoniQA International Conference. Registration for this meeting is required by sending an email to conference [at] moniqa [dot] org; it is free for MoniQA Members and the initial task force members.
Current status: After extensive characterization the first materials (milk, a blank matrix material "rice cookie") are about to being tested and validated by the international community. For the gluten-free materials some 35 wheat varieties/flours have been extensively characterized and are now ready for final selection. Additional materials such as whole egg, peanut, hazelnut, and soy are in preparation and associated characterization work is under way. An update will be given at the upcoming meeting in Porto and the next steps will be discussed.
Background: In 2013 MoniQA initiated a Task Force on the development of food allergen and gluten-free reference materials. The Task Force is an international group comprised of several SDOs (Standardisation Organisations), industry representatives, policy makers, test kit providers and method developers, analytical companies, as well as representatives from various universities. This international group works towards consensus on the specific requirements and the design of global food allergen reference/testing materials and gluten-free standard materials. For this purpose MoniQA has liaised with the EU funded project iFAAM, the Prolamin Working Group (PWG) and Australia's Vital concept group.
The aim of MoniQA's initiative is the publication of a Guidance Document on the special requirements and production of food allergen and gluten-free reference materials. Accompanying research and the optimization of the production scheme to provide basic and incurred reference materials, spiked samples and extracts have been initiated.
iFAAM (Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management; 2013-2017) is the world's biggest ever study of allergies - coordinated by Clare Mills from the University of Manchester www.inflammation-repair.manchester.ac.uk/ifaam. iFAAM involves the world’s leading experts in the UK, Europe, Australia and US. iFAAM, funded under EU's 7th Framework Programme, will develop evidence-based approaches and tools for MANAGEMENT of ALLERGENS in FOOD and integrate knowledge derived from their application and new knowledge from intervention studies into FOOD ALLERGY MANAGEMENT plans and dietary advice. The resulting holistic strategies will reduce the burden of food allergies in Europe and beyond, whilst enabling the European food industry to compete in the global market place.
The MoniQA Association is partner in iFAAM. MoniQA leads Workpackage 9 on translating iFAAM developed tools and food allergen management approaches to practice. Current activities involve the development of a database on food allergen recalls, which will be published shortly. Furthermore, MoniQA leads work within iFAAM to make "May Contain" labeling more transparent and to provide a sustainable online toolbox for allergen management along the food supply chain.
MoniQA would like to welcome the association's newly elected officials. Details on all elected officials can be found at www.moniqa.org/about/officials. The Supervisory Board Members are elected by the General Assembly for a term of three years. In 2015 Richard Cantrill from AOCS (USA) will serve as MoniQA President and Paul Finglas from IFR/EuroFir (UK) as Vice President. The composition of the current MoniQA Supervisory Board is:
Co-opted members to support the Supervisory Board in extending membership and promoting MoniQA activities in 2015 are:
Elected auditors of the association are:
MoniQA and its newly elected officials are looking forward to working with you and assisting you in matters of food safety and quality assessment, research project proposals, workshop and conference organisation, design and production of reference materials, and other international network activities.
The issue contains 8 review articles, 2 research articles, as well as a foreword by Michele Suman and Roland Poms, the guest editors of this special edition. The articles contain a clear overview of the latest developments, products, and concerns on use of these fast and easy detection methods. Two of the papers are available as open access: the foreword and the review paper by C. von Holst and J. Stroka on “Performance criteria for rapid screening methods to detect mycotoxins”. If your institute has taken a subscription, all papers are freely accessible on the World Mycotoxin Journal MetaPress web page wageningenacademic.metapress.com/content/120817. As MoniQA or ICC member you are eligible for a discounted subscription.
The QAS volume 6, issue 3 (September 2014) is now available and features a special issue on "Food Chemistry and Safety". Edited by Hamit Köksel and Vural Gökmen, both from Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, the presented research papers were selected from invited presentations in association with the EuroFoodChem XVII conference, which took place 7-10 May 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The included papers encompass the latest research trends and findings on the emerging topics of food chemistry and safety. The 10 papers included in this special issue were selected from the papers recommended through an external peer-review process.
The papers in this special issue describe the recent advancements on analytical methodologies for the determination of nanomaterials in complex samples, safety assessment of engineered metallic nanoparticles in foods, performance of multiplex dipstick immunoassay for screening mycotoxins in cereals, analytical challenges in food chemistry proficiency tests, application of e-nose technique for food quality control using novel oligopeptides based materials, and evaluation of safety risks in thermal processing of foods considering processing contaminants such as acrylamide. In addition, some papers describe also the production and characterization of resistant starch and its utilization as food ingredient, thermolysis products of potato starch as potential prebiotics, and anovel cereal fiber drink as a tool for prevention of civilisation disease.
We are pleased to present this special issue to the readers of Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods journal and food chemistry community worldwide, and hope that it accomplishes our goal of highlighting outstanding recent advances in the field of food chemistry. At the same time we can be looking forward to the next EuroFoodChem XVIII conference in Madrid, Spain, 13-16 October 2015.
Vienna, 12 May 2014. An EU-funded research project is shining a spotlight on the benefits, risks and quality of botanicals. Some 30 international research groups worked in a multi-disciplinary consortium to investigate whether botanicals available as drops, capsules, lozenges, tablets and pills, for example, truly deliver on what they promise. The PlantLIBRA research project started in 2010 and ends in May this year. Some 110 experts from over 30 countries participate in the wrap-up event in Vienna, 12-14 May 2014 (plantlibra2014.icc.or.at). The event is managed by ICC, which is also a consortium partner in this EU funded project (www.icc.or.at/projects/plantlibra).
The 25 nations involved in the "PlantLIBRA" research project all pursued the same goal: to record the benefits and risks of botanicals and test the quality of the products available on the market. The experts involved also compiled a database that will make it easier for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and other national authorities to assess botanicals.
Testing potency and toxicity
Botanicals, available as capsules, lozenges, tablets, pills and other similar dosage forms, are legally defined as foodstuffs and therefore subject to less stringent regulations than pharmaceuticals. Whether they offer any benefits, or may even pose risks, to consumers is the subject of the EU project that investigated a range of selected samples. "Whether a product actually contains the plant advertised on the package has not been tested in many cases. And it often takes a liability suit before we find out whether the active ingredients in a botanical product are effective or perhaps even poisonous" reports work package leader and Professor Emeritus at the Vetmeduni Vienna, Chlodwig Franz. The goal of this EU project was to shed light on this grey area. Various methods were developed and tested to anaylse the quality and safety of botanicals that are used in food supplements, including DNA analysis techniques that allow the exact identification of the plants used.
European products exceeded expectations
The researchers examined different products from all over Europe that contained passion flower, devil's claw, melissa, chamomile, valerian, calendula and ribwort. According to researcher Silvia Sponza: "All the European products we examined, including teas, pills, drops, powders and ointments, did in fact contain what was listed on the packaging. And the quality of the active ingredients was even on par with the quality standards that apply to pharmaceuticals."
The scientists also drew up a list of analytical laboratories in Europe, an important resource for the industry. This will make it much easier for botanicals manufacturers to select a competent lab to run analyses on their products.
Interviews with experts
The PlantLIBRA final conference is held in Vienna from 12-14 May 2014. Study research partners and representatives from the industry are in attendance. Various experts, including the Coordinator, Professor Patrizia Restani from the University of Milan (Italy), are available during the event at the Hotel Stefanie (Taborstraße 12, 1020 Vienna) for interviews. Please view the full programme at plantlibra2014.icc.or.at/programme and please feel free to contact us for an appointment at office [at] icc [dot] or [dot] at.
Over 70 participants attended the annual Joint MoniQA/IAM Workshop for Codex Alimentarius which was held 2 March 2014 in Budapest, Hungary. Chaired by Richard Cantrill, AOCS and Roland Poms, ICC, this year's event focused on "Sampling issues in the light of new approaches and existing Codex Standards". The featured presentations from Roger Wood, Chairman of the Inter-Agency Meeting; Árpád Ambrus, Hungarian Food Safety Office; Steve Ellison, LGC; Astrid Nordbotten, Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Roger Kissling, Fonterra Ltd. were made available to MoniQA members and participants. MoniQA is now collecting ideas and needs for the next Joint IAM/MoniQA Workshop linked to the Codex Alimentarius CCMAS meeting in Budapest in 2015, please send your comments and ideas to moniqa [at] moniqa [dot] org. To join MoniQA, please go to www.moniqa.org.
More than 600 people from 48 different countries attended the Horizon 2020 info day calls for proposals for Societal Challenge 2 (SC2) and LEIT- Biotechnology. This major event took place in Brussels, on 17 January 2014, at the Charlemagne building and was organised by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research and Innovation through Directorate F – Bioeconomy. You can access the presentations given on the day at ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/news-events/news/20140117_03_en.htm, which will be updated regularly.
Roland Poms, Secretary General of ICC and MoniQA, attended the Info Day in Brussels on behalf of members of ICC and MoniQA. Several specific questions communicated by members in advance of the meeting to the Secretariat of ICC and MoniQA could be addressed in the afternoon discussions with the EC officials. Members only can see some more detailed information and possibilities of joint collaborative projects in the protected members area at www.icc.or.at for ICC and www.moniqa.org for MoniQA (for members visible after log in). ICC and MoniQA will continue to disseminate up-to-date information on new developments within Horizon 2020 and will facilitate project participation for its members.
It is time again to renew your MoniQA Association Membership for another year and benefit from MoniQA's international network and a variety of activities and services (details can be found on www.moniqa.org/about/association).
Some membership benefits are listed as follows:
The videos of the MoniQA workshop "Method Performance and Analytical Uncertainty", 19 June 2013, BOKU, Vienna, Austria, held by Richard Cantrill (AOCS) on Method Performance and Hilde Skår Norli (NMKL) on Analytical Uncertainty are now available on the MoniQA website. They can be watched for free for MoniQA members (please log into the MoniQA website) and will be available via paid access for non-members soon.
Watch the videos:
Two new webinars are available and provided by MoniQA. The webinats were produced in coperation with CNR-ISPA, Bari, Italy and Thermo Fisher, Prague, Czech Republic, both MoniQA members. Please click on the links below to watch Dr. Veronica Lattanzio, from the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR), Italy, speak about quantitative determination and metabolite discovery of mycotoxins using Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap™ high resolution accurate mass spectrometry and Dr. Linda Monaci, also from the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR), Italy, speak about multi-allergen detection and quantitation of milk and egg proteins in white wine using Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap™ high resolution accurate mass spectrometry.
The webinars are offered free of charge!
What started as a service open to HEALTHGRAIN Forum members only is now open to anyone with an interest in nutrition legislation with emphasis on EU regulations.
The Scientific & Regulatory Updates prepared by David Richardson, DPR Nutrition Limited, UK, and published by ICC Services GmbH, provide detailed information about legislative changes in the field of nutrition. The Updates, supported by legislative documents, provide detailed information about regulatory changes in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health which regulate health and nutrition claims in the EU; newly published EFSA scientific opinions; European Commission guidance documents, recommendations, and proposals for legislative changes; and regulatory changes at the level of the FAO and WHO.
To receive your Scientific & Regulatory Updates and any supporting documents, you need to subscribe and sign up at icc-gmbh [at] icc [dot] or [dot] at
The Scientific & Regulatory Updates appear 10 times per year. A yearly subscription per institution costs € 1,000 + VAT.
Download an example Scientific & Regulatory Update here.