The Joint Research Centre (JRC), a Directorate General of the European Commission (EC), organised a proficiency test (IRMM-PT-43) for the determination of total arsenic (As) and inorganic arsenic (iAs) mass fractions in rice flour in support to Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1006 which amends Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of inorganic arsenic in foodstuffs.
The present proficiency test (PT) was opened to National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) and official control laboratories (OCLs). Fifty three participants from twenty countries registered to the exercise. Seven participants did not report results.
The material used as test item was a certified reference material (SRM 1568b) rice flour, which, after appropriate processing, was bottled, labelled and dispatched to the participants during the first half of March 2016.
Laboratory results were rated using z and ζ scores in accordance with the international standard ISO 13528. The relative standard deviation for proficiency assessment was set to 15 % of the assigned value for both measurands.
Most of the laboratories reported realistic measurement uncertainties and performed satisfactorily (with |z| 2) for the determination of the total As mass fraction (91 %). For the determination of iAs mass fraction 55 % of the participating laboratories performed satisfactorily.