Food safety is arguably the most important segment of food science and analysis. From residual pesticide contamination to allergens to mycotoxins, there are many ways food can be harmful to human health. Food producers and processors, as well as independent testing labs conduct rigorous testing that can be verified and objectively recorded. To get accurate and reproduceable results that are legally defensible in court, these labs rely on analytical instrumentation as the centerpiece of their efforts to ensure a safe food supply. In this presentation we will provide a brief introduction to food safety testing, and then describe how state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation is used in the food safety industry. Specific examples will include GCMS and LCMS for residual pesticide at trace levels and mycotoxins, ICP-MS for heavy metals, and MALDI-TOF for pathogens like salmonella. Additionally, we will discuss the contribution of food packaging and food contact materials (FCM) to food contamination.
1. Understand the challenges in food testing
2. Illustrate current approaches to food safety testing
3. Demonstrate the power of analytical instrumentation in food safety testing