News last update:14 Jan 2016

Labs wanted for aflatoxin proficiency testing programme

As part of a continued commitment to feed laboratories’ analytical success through implementation of quality system, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Texas A&M (TAMU) are working together to deliver an aflatoxin proficiency testing programme.

Proficiency testing is 1 of the BIG 3 in a laboratory quality system, along with traceability and uncertainty. Participation in proficiency testing programmes helps a laboratory assure the quality of test results (ISO 17025 5.9). According to FAO and TAMU, only a few proficiency testing programmes are available for feed laboratories and participation is expensive. The programme set up by FAO and TAMU is aimed to help address this gap.

Free aflatoxin proficiency testing programme

The participants will receive a proficiency sample twice during 2016. The programme is offered at no cost to participants. Initially, the proficiency testing will focus on total aflatoxin and/or aflatoxin B1 analysis. Ground maize samples containing naturally occurring aflatoxin are prepared by the Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) using a protocol contained in their standard operating procedure titled "Control Standard Production for the One Sample Strategy". Their ISO 17025 accredited laboratory will also assist laboratories experiencing large variation by providing technical assistance at a distance.

Both the online course and the proficiency testing programme are part of an FAO/TAMU effort to build a global feed laboratory network with the objectives of: quality test results; improved animal nutrition; and production of safe and affordable food including animal protein products.

Interested laboratories may send the information sought in the Annex (Word document) by 31 December 2015 to Also for additional information, please contact Mr Makkar.

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