News articles

Meet MoniQA at the next C&E Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, 27-29 April 2015

This year, the C&E Spring Meeting will take place in Budapest with the theme Celebrating Cereals in the AACC International Centennial year: it will be the occasion to review the importance of cereals - and wheat in particular - in our daily diet and discuss the scientific progress in breeding, processing and nutritional aspects, with an outlook to the future.

The University of Budapest has a long standing reputation in cereal science thanks to its 95 year old Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. In cooperation with the Cereals & Europe team and other organizing and sponsoring parties, the local hosts will do everything to guarantee the friendly environment to our guests for the effective scientific work and networking.

Hungary has a long tradition and widely applied results in the areas of cereal breeding, chemistry and technology, qualification agricultural production and milling processes. Therefore it is our great pleasure that Budapest can host the European centennial event of AACCI. The beautiful capital of Hungary with the Danube, many historical places and cultural events ensure the pleasant background of the conference.

MoniQA will be represented by Dr. Roland Poms with a talk on the "MoniQA Allergen Reference Materials Programme for Gluten Free Analysis" and "A novel approach of isotope analysis to distinguish organically and conventionally grown crops".

The C&E Spring Meeting is intended to all cereal scientists, cereal based product developers, lab technicians, application technologists, plant supervisors, academics keen to learn more about practical aspects of scientific findings and all others stakeholders who want to know more about cereal science and bakery technology.

Please make sure to register at www.cespringmeeting2015.org and benefit from the extended Early Bird fee until 16 March 2015!

5th MoniQA International Conference: "Food and Health - Risks and Benefits", 16-18 September 2015, Porto, Portugal

The 5th MoniQA International Conference "Food and Health - Risks and Benefits" on "Innovative Technologies for Food Quality and Safety Management" will be held in Porto, 16-18 September 2015. It continues the successful series of MoniQA International Conferences, and targets participants from regulatory, industry, research and technology, method providers, media and consumer associations. For details please go to the conference website porto2015.moniqa.org.

Abstract submission is now open! Please go to porto2015.moniqa.org/abstract_submission for submission guidelines. The submission deadline is 31 May 2015 for oral and poster presentations.

Become a sponsor of this event! Find a sponsor package that may be suited for you at porto2015.moniqa.org/sponsoring.

This time technological and analytical challenges in assuring food safety and quality will meet risk assessment, health concerns, consumer preferences, and clinical implications. Unique insights in the global scope of these matters by renown speakers, invited papers and most recent advances in science and technology generated by the next generation leading scientists will make up an exciting programme.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Porto at the 5th MoniQA International Conference. We would like to encourage you to make use of one or more of the various opportunities to contribute to the conference as speaker, poster presenter, exhibitor, sponsor, volunteer or just to enjoy the technical programme, satellite training workshops, networking opportunities, or social events at the meeting in Porto.

We are hoping to see you in Porto!

Dr. Isabel Mafra and Dr. Roland Ernest Poms
On behalf of the Conference Committees

International Conference on Food Contaminants 2015 (ICFC 2015), 13-14 April 2015, Lisbon, Portugal: Challenges in Chemical Mixtures

This multidisciplinary congress provides a forum for both internationally established and young researchers to exchange advanced knowledge on Food Contaminants and Human Health. The congress will include keynote lectures given by world-renowned scholars, in addition to oral and poster sessions. State of the Art developments in different fields of chemical mixtures: analytical, exposure assessment, bioavailability and toxicity of food contaminants will be covered during presentations. The ICFC2015 has been organized in the context of the project MYCOMIX - Exploring the toxic effects of mixtures of mycotoxins in infant food and potential health impact, funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (PTDC/DTP-FT0/0417/2012; FCT, Portugal).

ICFC 2015 welcomes the submission of abstracts for original contributors to the field of food contaminants and human health. The online abstract submission is now open to all experts and value contributors.

Deadlines:

  • Abstract submission: 13 February 2015
  • Abstract decision notification: 6 March 2015
  • Early Bird Registration: 13 March 2015

You can submit your abstracts directly through the web form available at www.icfc2015.com. The detailed Program is available at www.icfc2015.com/program.htm.

The organizers are looking forward to welcoming you in Lisbon!

MoniQA Board Election 2015

The 2015 MoniQA Board Election is upon us and we ask you to consider the candidates and other association issues and vote. Voting is perhaps one of the most important and significant member privileges. Voting has opened on 29 January 2015 and closed on 16 February 2015.

Items to be voted on include

  • MoniQA Officials
  • QAS Journal
  • Membership issues

If you are a General Assembly member entitled to vote, please cast your vote at www.moniqa.org/ga/elections_jan_2015 (login required).

Thank you for your involvement in the MoniQA Association. Your input and feedback are important to us. We are looking forward to our future collaboration in MoniQA.

EU Project Management & Science Communication Workshop, 17-21 November 2014, Brussels, Belgium

On behalf of EuroFIR AISBL we are pleased to announce a workshop on EU Project Management and Science Communication.

The workshop will take place at the Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie in Brussels (Belgium) from Monday 17 November (12:30) to Thursday 21 November 2014 (17:30).

Aim of the workshop

Participants will gain sufficient knowledge to successfully manage EU-funded projects. The workshop is targeted primarily at academics or other staff from public, private and non-profit sectors from both EU and non-EU countries new to project management or who want to refresh their knowledge with the advent of Horizon2020.

Participation

A maximum of 25 applicants will be selected in order to ensure the course is highly interactive. Applicant should have at least a Bachelor of Art or Science at Honours level (BA Hons or BSc Hons) or equivalent and some relevant work experience, e.g. participated in an EU-funded or other multi-centre project. The modules will be taught in English and are highly interactive. Therefore, participants should have a good to very good command of English.

Programme

View the programme at www.eurofir.org/?p=3330. More information on application, fees and accommodation is available on the EuroFIR website at www.eurofir.org/?p=3315. MoniQA Members are entitled to a 15% discount.

CODA-CERVA 2014 multi-mycotoxin proficiency test (PT)

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the 2014 multi-mycotoxin proficiency test (PT) organised by the MoniQA member CODA-CERVA (Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Belgium).

The main objective of the PT is to provide interested laboratories with an opportunity to test their multi-mycotoxin methods and to compare their results with those of other laboratories. The use of LC-MS/MS methods, although not strictly required, is highly recommended. Detailed information can be found in the attached Invitation Letter.

If you wish to participate please register at neonet.coda-cerva.be/neonet/Register_PT.aspx by 14 September 2014. Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information at PT_myco_org [at] coda-cerva [dot] be.

MoniQA Food Allergen Reference Materials Meeting, 7 September 2014, Boca Raton (Florida), United States

The Allergen Reference Materials Working Group was kicked-off in February 2013 in Washington, USA. The aim of this ICC and MoniQA supported working group is to:

  • Discuss and agree on requirements of allergen reference materials
  • The publication of a Guidance Document on the production and the special requirements of allergen reference materials in a peer-reviewed journal (similar to Abbott et al. 2010, maybe several publications)
  • Seek general acceptance of the Guideline by the international community (Task force, WG, then also IAM and Codex)
  • Reference for any allergen RM producers
  • Create a Basis for a "certification label" to increase trust of users of the allergen RM

The next MoniQA Food Allergen Reference Materials Meeting will be held on Sunday 7 September 2014, 14:00-16:30 prior to the AOAC 128th Annual Meeting and Exposition, in Boca Raton (Florida).

Food Labeling Summit, 16 September 2014, Schönbrunn Palace Conference Center, Vienna, Austria

From September 2014 onwards food service companies already want compliant information to the new 1169/2011 EU-food labeling regulation! Protect your sales and avoid high costs of non-compliance

Make food information exciting while protecting brands and clients is what thought leaders of the food sector are currently discussing. How to take advantage of the new EU-regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information also for non-prepacked foods, which is impacting the entire food supply-chain including eCommerce/food delivery services and catering, restaurants and fresh counters in retail.

Join an inspirational day of open innovation to accelerate your food labeling strategy and reduce risks of non-compliance with the help of all experts at your finger tips. For each question, teams will define goals, what has been done and what are the next steps.

Training Course "Detection Techniques for Mycotoxins in the Food/Feed Chain", 6 - 10 October 2014, Bari, Italy

The MoniQA member ISPA (Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy) is organising a Training Course on Detection Techniques for Mycotoxins in the Food/Feed Chain from 6 to 10 October 2014 at ISPA in Bari, Italy, under the aegis of the International Society for Mycotoxicology (ISM).

MoniQA invites to participate in a multi-mycotoxin proficiency test (PT) - free of charge!

On behalf of the MoniQA member CNR-ISPA (National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Sciences of Food Production), it is our pleasure to invite interested laboratories to participate in a multi-mycotoxin proficiency test (PT).

The main objective of the PT is to provide interested laboratories with an opportunity to test their multi-mycotoxin methods and to compare their results with those of other laboratories. The use of LC-MS(MS) methods, although not strictly required, is highly recommended. Detailed information can be found in the attached Invitation Letter.

If you wish to participate please complete the attached Registration Form and send it by email to Veronica Lattanzio (veronica [dot] lattanzio [at] ispa [dot] cnr [dot] it) and Annalisa De Girolamo (annalisa [dot] degirolamo [at] ispa [dot] cnr [dot] it) by 20 May 2014. Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information about the procedure of the proficiency test.

GCHERA World Agriculture Prize 2014 - call for nominations now open!

The call for nominations for the GCHERA (Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences) World Agriculture Prize 2014 Prize is now open. The 2014 Prize will be awarded to an academic/faculty member from a higher education institution working in the disciplines relating to the agricultural and life sciences in recognition of the academic/faculty member's life time achievements. A nominee will demonstrate exceptional and significant achievement in his or her engagement in the mission of higher education institutions relating to agricultural and life sciences – in education, research and innovation. This impact will most likely be demonstrated in the work of the nominee in the development of the institution(s) in which the nominee has served, and in the local and wider geographical region of those institution(s), but not necessarily globally. For full details of the Terms & Conditions for submitting a nomination for the prize see www.gchera-wap.org

Register for the 3rd International ISEKI_Food Conference, Athens, Greece, 21-23 May 2014

The 3rd International ISEKI_Food Conference will take place in Athens, Greece, 21-23 May 2014 with the general aims to contribute to the creation of an "open" international forum for researchers, education scientists, technologists and industry representatives as well as food consumers, to promote constructive dialogue and collaboration on topics relevant to Food Science and Technology, Industry and Education and to present and disseminate the results of the activities developed by the ISEKI_Food network projects.

This conference will be focused on Food Science and Technology for a Bioeconomy 2020. Among a wide number of conference topics, the re-thinking of education in terms of strategies and methods for higher education and continual professional development, the most recent research innovations and emergent requirements, and developments and needs for an industry sustainable food supply, will be on top of the agenda. Several pre-conference events are also included and organized: The final session of the pilot "Summer School" for teachers in Food Science & Technology, and two workshops on European PhD research and involvement and role of industry.

For more information including the updated programme, please visit the conference website www.isekiconferences.com/athens2014. We look forward to welcoming you to Athens in 2014.

MoniQA General Assembly: 2 April 2014, Noordwijkerhout (the Netherlands)

All MoniQA Members are cordially invited to attend the next MoniQA General Assembly scheduled on 2 April 2014, 13:00-15:00, Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands at the end of the 9th Rapid Methods Europe Conference www.bastiaanse-communication.com/rme2014. A detailed agenda will be provided by beginning of March 2014.

Eligible to vote is one representative of each of the institutions registered as MoniQA ordinary and founder member, respectively, whereas a founder member's vote is weighted as three and an ordinary member's vote as one vote. If the main contact of an institution is unable to attend the General Assembly, a replacement from the same institution can be nominated, which needs to be communicated to us prior to the meeting.

MoniQA is official supporter of the Rapid Methods Europe 2014 Conference

Rapid Methods Europe - RME2014 (www.bastiaanse-communication.com/rme2014) takes place in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, 31 March - 2 April 2014. RME2014 is the 9th in a series of conferences dedicated to innovations and breakthroughs in microbiological and chemical analysis of food, feed and water. This series aims to further strengthen the academia-industry relations and to further disseminate advanced research towards practical applications in food, feed and water analysis. MoniQA organised a technical session at the conference on 2 April 2014 and will also hold its annual General Assembly at the end of the conference 13:00-15:00 on 2 April 2014. For details please consult the conference programme at www.bastiaanse-communication.com/rme2014/cp.pdf.

RME2014 presents new and cutting-edge technologies focusing on multi-target screening, lower detection limits, wider range of matrices and shorter time, with an eye toward looking for unknown compounds and moving tests out of the laboratory. Conference topics include, but are not limited to ...

  • sampling and sample preparation
  • multi-analyte detection
  • simple and cost-effective technologies
  • alternative biosensors and recognition elements
  • scientific solutions for industry
  • outlook for future analytical advances

... for microorganisms (indicator and spoilage microorganisms, pathogens), contaminants (due to contamination, cultivation practices or production processes), allergens, GMOs and veterinary drug residues, as well as for authenticity/adulteration and forensic identification.

As a comprehensive overview RME2014 offers an excellent way to network and to share ideas, providing a reference source for anyone wishing to gain insight into the latest developments in microbial and chemical analysis of food, feed and water ensuring safety and quality.

Workshop "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance", BOKU, Vienna, Austria, 17-21 March 2014

Roland Poms, Secretary General of ICC and MoniQA Association will lecture on "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance" at BOKU - University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources, Vienna, Austria. Apart from enrolled MSc and PhD students, ICC and MoniQA members have access to a maximum of 10 places. If interested, please register by email to office [at] icc [dot] or [dot] at. The lectures, excursions and workshop activities are on 5 afternoons. Invited speakers from international standardisation organisations will enrich the workshop programme and give a global perspective and the value of international standards.

The aim of the workshop on "Reference materials and method validation in food safety assurance" is to describe the issues and challenges involved in the international comparability and validity of analytical results in the assurance of food safety and quality. On the basis of practical examples the focus will be on current hot topics, such as mycotoxins, food allergens, pathogenic micro-organisms, GMOs, etc., the analytical possibilities (including rapid methods), and the corresponding EU regulations. Additionally, an overview of international standardization bodies and examples of international validation studies will be given.

More infos: www.moniqa.org/events/workshop_rm_food_safety_boku_march_2014

MoniQA at Info Day on Horizon 2020 – Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy, Brussels, 17 January 2014

Roland Poms, Secretary General of MoniQA Association, will attend the Info Day on 2014 Horizon 2020 calls for proposals - Societal Challenge 2 and LEIT Biotechnology (ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/news-events/news/20140117_en.htm). After MoniQA's successful completion of its Network of Excellence in 2012 and its foundation as legal entity in 2011, MoniQA has been directly or indirectly involved in various project proposals. The most recent success was partnering in iFAAM (2013-2017). With the available expertise and experience with attracting EU funding for collaborative research projects and involvement in EU’s Framework Programmes (FP4-FP7) as Coordinator (ECC 2002, MoniQA), as Workpackage Leader or Partner (HEALTHGRAIN, ISEKI, CommNET, PlantLibra, Connect4Action, iFAAM, MyNewGut, MycoSpec, EMPORA) or as Member of the Advisory Board (MycoRed, DREAM, TradeIT), at the MoniQA Secretariat (c/o ICC Headquarters, Vienna, Austria), MoniQA will again facilitate and/or partner in collaborative project proposals with Horizon 2020. As a special service for MoniQA Members, Roland Poms and the MoniQA Secretariat in Vienna will support members’ initiatives and provide advice in partner search or direct requests to programme officers.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly € 80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) - in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market. For more information please contact the official website at ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020.

MoniQA members and stakeholders might have special interest in the following areas:

MoniQA will be happy to discuss your ideas and proposals. Members of MoniQA enjoy additional privileged information and services useful for project proposals and collaborations. If you are not a member of MoniQA yet, please refer to www.moniqa.org/news/renew_moniqa_membership and choose your preferred involvement in MoniQA.

Two MoniQA workshops in Bangkok attracted some 100 participants between 11-18 December 2013

Roland Ernest Poms, General Secretary of ICC and MoniQA, received a teaching grant from the Austrian and Thai governments and following an invitation of Thammasat University he gave lectures to Master and PhD students in various areas of food safety between 9-19 December 2013. During the educational programme entitled "Meeting Global Food Safety Challenges" in total more than 100 students attended the lectures. Additionally, two workshops were co-organised by MoniQA, ICC, Thammasat University and the BioTech Center Thailand. The two days workshop including theoretical and practical training 1) "Effective Mycotoxin Management" at the Biotech Center Thailand on 11-12 December 2013, and 2) "Allergen-free Food: Market Opportunity and Process Control Plans for Food Manufacturer" at Cha-da Hotel, Bangkok organised by the Department of Food Science and Technology, Thammasat University, 17-18 December 2013, attracted a total of 100 participants from academia and industry. Univ. Prof. hc. Dr. Roland Ernest Poms also discussed possible future collaborations between BOKU Vienna and Thammasat University Bangkok and issues in relation to strengthening the existing ties between the two universities and the bilateral research and exchange activities between Thailand and Austria.

Thank you for your collaboration with MoniQA in 2013. MoniQA wishes you a successful 2014!

On behalf of MoniQA Association I would like to thank you for your trust and collaboration in the past year. We can look back to another successful year in MoniQA, thanks to the great collaboration of the global MoniQA network of members and stakeholders.

Some highlights in 2013 were:

  • the successful organization of the 4th MoniQA International Conference in Budapest, Hungary
  • the organization of several workshops and CPD events around the globe (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Thailand, Taiwan, USA, and others)
  • the re-launch of our international journal QAS with our new publisher Wageningen Academic Publishing
  • the involvement of MoniQA Association as EU project partner in an FP7 project (iFAAM)
  • facilitating project involvement of MoniQA members
  • facilitating research collaborations and personnel exchanges bilaterally and globally
  • coordinating the design and production of Food Allergen Reference Materials for cereals and gluten, milk, egg, peanut, and hazelnut as first priorities

TRADEIT - A new project in support of the SME bakery sector

ICC and MoniQA will support the TRADEIT project by disseminating project results and inviting bakeries to participate at training events offered by the project free-of-charge in various locations and in local languages all around Europe. TRADEIT is funded under FP7 KBBE.2013.2.3-02 Grant Agreement No KBBE-613776.

It is accepted that resource limitation precludes majority of Traditional Food Producing SMEs from participating in innovative and entrepreneurial activities. The TRADEIT project aims to address this through an ambitious program of events and supports for the Traditional Agri-Food sector which will through the promotion and facilitation of Collaboration, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Knowledge and Technology Transfer will increase the competitiveness and inter-regional advantage of participating Traditional Food Producing SMEs.

Acknowledging that time requirements and language barriers frequently disincentives SME participation in training and dissemination events TRADEIT will establish and pilot 9 TRADEIT Hubs in a total of 8 partner countries: Ireland, UK, Spain (2 Hubs), Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland and Finland. Each Hub will form a sub-network, defined by regional and language with an associated network of local and regional traditional food producers and linked to the relevant National Technology Platform, Food for Life and other national food and drink and policy organisations. A TRADEIT Advisor is allocated to each Hub to co-ordinate regional events and act as an SME liaison.

Register now for the 6th Joint IAM/MoniQA "Sampling" Training Workshop in Budapest, Hungary, 2 March 2014

Following on from the successful series of Workshops held immediately prior to the recent Sessions of CCMAS the IAM/MoniQA Workshop organisers were asked by delegates to further develop a number of issues of concern. In particular they were asked to consider whether it would be appropriate to develop a Workshop to discuss Sampling issues in the light of new approaches and exisitng Codex Standards. This has become particularly important given the increasing awareness of sampling uncertainty and at the same time confusion about its assessment and procedures to take appropriate and representative samples in diffferent commercial and regulatory environments. Starting as an exlusive offer for delegates of Codex Alimentarius these workshops have also become part of Continuous Professional Development for policy makers and decision makers in food businesses. Please find a draft programme at www.moniqa.org/events/workshop_budapest_march_2014.

The workshop is organised jointly by IAM and MoniQA. It will be held at the Ramada Plaza Budapest Hotel, now with a new name: The Aquincum Hotel Budapest, Árpád fejedelem útja 94, Budapest 1036, Hungary (www.aquincumhotel.com). This workshop is free for CCMAS delegates and members of IAM, discounts apply for MoniQA members and students. Registration is required by all participants and speakers. Please register online at www.moniqa.org/events/workshop_budapest_march_2014/register.

Please mind that only a limited number of places are available and that registrations will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis. We are looking forward to seeing you in Budapest in 2014!

MoniQA FST "Alternative methods for microbiological analysis of foods and feeds", 4 - 7 February 2014, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The training is organised by the University of Food Technologies and the MoniQA Association. Participants will learn about the common food pathogens and the available rapid methods for microbiological analysis of foods. The FST (food scientist training) will provide relevant theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience on PCR methods (classical PCR and real-time PCR) for the detection and quantification of pathogens in food samples.This year the training will expand its focus to mycotoxins in foods – producing microorganisms and factors contributing to mycotoxin contaminations, methods for de-toxification and the regulatory frame.
Taking place at the University of Food Technologies, Plovdiv the workshop will be held in Bulgarian language and will consist in two parts:

Theoretical part:

  • Common food pathogens and currently available rapid methods for pathogen detection and quantification
  • Introduction to molecular methods
  • PCR – basic principles, equipment, applications, combinations with other analytical techniques
  • Real-time PCR - theoretical background of technology (basic principles, equipment, applications, sample preparation)
  • Mycotoxins in foods - producing microorganisms and factors for food contamination, methods for de-toxification, regulatory frame

Practical part:

  • DNA Extraction from food samples
  • Pathogen detection by PCR
  • Pathogens detection and quantification by real-time PCR
  • Evaluation of results
  • Mycotoxin analysis

MoniQA Workshop "Allergen-free Food: Market Opportunity and Process Control Plans for Food Manufacturer" in Bangkok, Thailand, 17-18 December 2013

MoniQA and Thammast University would like to invite you to attend the workshop

"Allergen-free Food: Market Opportunity and Process Control Plans for Food Manufacturer" taking place at the Bangkok Cha-da Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand from 17-18 December 2013.

Workshop objectives:

  • To provide current market situations of allergen-free foods
  • To review the basics of food allergens
  • To be aware of regulations and allergen-free labeling
  • To transfer knowledge of strategies and management of food allergen
  • To learn analytical methods and verification techniques of allergen and allergen assay test kits

Rationale and Background:

Allergen-free food market is a global rapid-growing segment. The largest share of allergen-free food product value sales comes from North America and Europe. Analysts estimated annual growth rate of allergen-free food market in the US. being more than 10% and product sales in the year 2018 being more than US$ 6.2 billion. The fast growing market of allergen-free food is due to not only an increase in numbers of food allergy individuals but also allergen-free food has been considered to be healthy food.

Foods identified as allergens are wheat, milk, egg, peanut, soybean, fish, seafood, sesame and tree nuts. These foods are common ingredients in many food products. To produce allergen-free food products, food manufacturers have to be aware of types of allergens, control plan for processing, cross contamination possibly occurring during processing, detection methods for allergens and regulations including allergen-free labeling.

Joint MoniQA/BIOTEC/NSTDA/MOST Workshop "Effective Mycotoxin Management" in Thailand, 11-12 December 2013

MoniQA, the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology  would like to invite you to attend the Workshop "Effective Mycotoxin Management" taking place at the Thailand Science Park, Tha Khlong, Pathum Thani / Bangkok, Thailand on 11-12 December 2013.

The objectives of the workshop are

  • to look at the current situation of mycotoxin contamination and impacts on food security globally and specifically in Thailand and South East Asia
  • to review regulations of mycotoxins in food and feed industries both in Thailand and globally,
  • to review current methods for mycotoxins detections and get some hands-on experience using detection kits,
  • and to get insight in mycotoxin risk analysis and mitigation strategies to control contaminations.

Meet ICC, MoniQA and HEALTHGRAIN at the AACC International Annual Meeting 2013, Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA), 29 September - 02 October 2013

Dr Roland Poms, Secretary General, will represent MoniQA and ICC at the 98th AACC International Annual Meeting 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For further information on the AACC Meeting, please see the announcement on the AACC website.

The ICC Luncheon will be held in connection with the AACC meeting, on 2 October 2013, chaired by Dr Roland Poms, ICC Secretary General. For further information on the ICC Luncheon, please see here.

2nd iFAAM consortium meeting 07 - 09 October 2013

The 2nd iFAAM (Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management) consortium meeting will be held 7-9 October 2013 in Cork, Ireland. Roland Poms will represent ICC and MoniQA. For more information on this event please see here.

For further information on the project please click here.

MoniQA Food Allergen Reference Materials Meeting, 10 October 2013

The Allergen Reference Materials Working Group was kicked-off in February 2013 in Washington, USA. The aim of this ICC and MoniQA supported working group is to:

  • Discuss and agree on requirements of allergen reference materials
  • The publication of a Guidance Document on the production and the special requirements of allergen reference materials in a peer-reviewed journal (similar to Abbott et al. 2010, maybe several publications)
  • Seek general acceptance of the Guideline by the international community (Task force, WG, then also IAM and Codex)
  • Reference for any allergen RM producers
  • Create a Basis for a "certification label" to increase trust of users of the allergen RM

The second meeting was held in Vienna at the ICC Headquarters, 13 June 2013, chaired by Dr Roland Poms, ICC and MoniQA Secretary General. This meeting was held in connection with the GF13 - the 3rd International Symposium on Gluten-Free Cereal Products and Beverages.

The next MoniQA Food Allergen Reference Materials Meeting (by invitation only) will be held on 10 October 2013 prior to the 27th Meeting of the Working Group on Prolamin Analysis and Toxicity in Darmstadt, Germany, 10 - 12 October 2013.

Please find details of the Prolamin WG meeting at www.moniqa.org/events/prolamin_wg_meeting_oct_2013.

Invitation to the Multi-Mycotoxin Proficiency Test 2013, organised by CODA-CERVA

On behalf of the MoniQA member CODA-CERVA (Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Belgium), it is our pleasure to invite interested laboratories to participate in a multi-mycotoxin proficiency test (PT).

The main objective of the PT is to provide interested laboratories with an opportunity to test their multi-mycotoxin methods and to compare their results with those of other laboratories. Detailed information can be found in the attached Invitation letter.

To register, please fill in the attached Registration form and email it to pt_myco_org [at] coda-cerva [dot] be until 15 September 2013. Please mention "MoniQA" in the subject. Don't hesitate to also send email if you have any questions.

Introducing the iFAAM Project (Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management)

The iFAAM Project - The world's biggest ever study of allergies – kicked off in March 2013. The MoniQA Assocation supports the project as project partner.

Up to 20 million European citizens suffer from food allergy. However management of both food allergy, by patients and health practitioners, and allergens, by industry, is thwarted by lack of evidence to either prevent food allergy developing or protect adequately those who are already allergic.

Funded by the 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by Manchester University, iFAAM 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 supports the iFAAM project as a WorkPackage Leader of a WP on translating iFAAM developed tools and food allergen management approaches into applicable tools and services. The project will run till 2017.

The 2nd iFAAM meeting has been hold in Cork, October 2013. For more information please see: link

Workshop "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance", BOKU, Vienna, Austria, 25-29 November 2013

Roland Poms, Secretary General of ICC and MoniQA Association will lecture on "Reference Materials and Method Validation in Food Safety Assurance" at BOKU - University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources, Vienna, Austria. Apart from enrolled MSc and PhD students, ICC and MoniQA members have access to a maximum of 10 places. If interested, please register by email to office [at] icc [dot] or [dot] at. The lectures, excursions and workshop activities are on 5 afternoons. Invited speakers from international standardisation organisations will enrich the workshop programme and give a global perspective and the value of international standards.

The aim of the workshop on "Reference materials and method validation in food safety assurance" is to describe the issues and challenges involved in the international comparability and validity of analytical results in the assurance of food safety and quality. On the basis of practical examples the focus will be on current hot topics, such as mycotoxins, food allergens, pathogenic micro-organisms, GMOs, etc., the analytical possibilities (including rapid methods), and the corresponding EU regulations. Additionally, an overview of international standardization bodies and examples of international validation studies will be given.

More infos: www.moniqa.org/events/workshop_rm_food_safety_boku_november_2013

Creation of a network of laboratories through PlantLibra

ICC, as partner of the PlantLIBRA consortium would like to invite interested laboratories and stakeholders to participate in an international network of laboratories capable of providing reliable high quality analytical data on plant and botanical preparations and/or to identify chemical and biological contaminants and/or assess irradiation treatment.

PlantLIBRA (acronym of Plant food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment, FP7 EC project number 245199) aims to foster the safe use of food supplements containing plants or botanical preparations, by increasing science-based decision-making by regulators and food chain operators.

PlantLIBRA - a project co-financed in the context of the 7th EU Framework Program - spans 4 continents and 25 partners, comprising leading academics, small- and medium sized enterprises, industry and no-profit organizations. The project is structured to develop, validate and disseminate data and methodologies for risk and benefit assessment and implement sustainable international cooperation. During its four years of length, PlantLIBRA will directly achieve a meta-database containing data on plant food supplement consumption, as well as on biologically active substances and contaminants.

PlantLIBRA works closely with EFSA and plans also cooperation with competent authorities and stakeholders.

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