EU Science Hub

Release of new mycotoxin reference material at 10th anniversary of ERM® launch

Apr 02 2014

Today the JRC celebrates the 10th anniversary of the launch of the European Reference Material (ERM®) cooperation at the Analytica Exhibition in Munich. The anniversary coincides with the release of a new certified reference material for mycotoxin testing.

The ERM® cooperation was launched in 2004 at the Munich International Trade Fair for Laboratory Technology, Analysis, Biotechnology and Analytica conference, and comprised, apart from the JRC, two other partners: the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and the British LGC Ltd.

To satisfy huge customer demands for certified reference materials (CRMs), the JRC joined forces with BAM and LGC in 2003 to establish a high quality brand of CRMs in Europe. After the launch in 2004 representatives of each partner institute joined the ERM panel, secretariat, technical and marketing committee, which are for example responsible for ratifying the acceptance of new reference materials, reviewing submissions for candidate ERMs or promoting the ERM brand.

To mark the celebration, the JRC released ERM-BC717, its new certified reference material for mycotoxin testing. Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by fungi that may appear in agricultural crops and food products. To ensure consumers’ health, the EU has set maximum limits, but to implement these strict limits, food control laboratories need to have the appropriate tools at hand. The new reference material is intended for quality control and assessment of performance characteristics of analytical methods, thereby supporting reliable measurements of mycotoxins in maize powder and helping food control laboratories to implement the EU legislation.

This material is just one of the many reference materials provided by the JRC to laboratories around the world making the millions of daily measurements reliable, which ensure the safety of food and feed, check the status of health and prevent major accidents and contamination. The JRC is the second largest producer of matrix certified reference materials worldwide.