This week FAPAS® launches the third edition of its test material index. This publication gives details of FAPAS® test materials available for use as quality control samples in laboratories throughout the food analysis sector.

As part of its commitment to support improvements in the analytical performance of food laboratories, FAPAS® supplies test materials for a variety of analytes in a wide range of real food matrices. They are invaluable for validating methods and for calibrating equipment. Many laboratories also use them as standards for both internal and accredited quality control procedures, as well as training materials for new analysts. For many matrices and analytes FAPAS® can provide a long-term supply of a test material as a cost-effective alternative to certified reference materials and often the only "reference materials" available for this purpose.

Test materials which are currently available include canned meat for proximate analysis, soft drinks for artificial colours, sweeteners and preservatives, maize for aflatoxins and vegetable oils for fatty acids. Soya flour test material containing genetically modified soya will be available from October.

The assigned value and acceptable range for analytes in FAPAS® test materials are derived from data submitted by laboratories worldwide who participate in FAPAS® proficiency testing rounds. For a free copy of the test material index or details on proficiency testing contact Dr Linda Owen by e-mailing, 'phoning 01904 462100 or faxing 01904 462040.

Notes for Editors:

1. CSL became an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food in April 1992, and was re-launched in April 1994 following a merger with the Ministry's Food Science Laboratories. The Agency's prime aim is to provide MAFF with an efficient and competitive range of scientific services including support, training and advice, underpinned by research & development, to meet both statutory and policy objectives in protecting the consumer, safeguarding the food supply and protecting the environment. CSL also seeks to provide, on a commercial basis, services to other Government departments and public and private sector organisations, throughout the world.

2. The Central Science Laboratory complex at Sand Hutton includes laboratories, office accommodation, greenhouses and growing areas, together with a number of specialist facilities that are unique within Europe, within an overall area of eighty acres.

3. CSL is a research-based centre of scientific excellence that provides high quality scientific support and advice. The main service areas covered by CSL are:
  • Consumer safety with emphasis on the microbiological, and chemical safety of food; the presence and control of natural toxicants and the quality and nutritional value of food;

  • Safeguarding food supplies through the identification and control of plant pests and diseases and invertebrate pests and the management of vertebrate wildlife;

  • Environmental protection through the investigation of the impact of agriculture on the environment and the promotion of biodiversity in agricultural habitats.
4. FAPAS® test materials are available for genetic modification, chemical and microbiological tests in laboratories in the food analysis sector. The range encompasses examples of beverages, fruit & vegetables, baking products, vitamins, oils & fats, flexible packaging, meats and fish, cereals, dairy products, confectionery and animal feeds.

5. For further information please contact Dr Linda Owen at the Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ. Tel: 01904 462100 or Fax: 01904 462040 and by e-mail at