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Determination of total As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Sn and inorganic As in canned food IMEP-118 Proficiency test Report

This report presents the outcome of the proficiency test, on the determination of total As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Sn and iAs in canned food (peas in brine). The exercise was organised by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals (EURL-HM) to support the Commission Regulation (EC) 1881:2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. Participation in the proficiency test was mandatory for the nominated NRLs, and open to other OCLs and interested laboratories. A total of 127 participants from 36 countries registered to the exercise. All NRLs (36) reported results, while 4 non-NRL participants did not. From the participating laboratories 54 % analysed the drained product and 46 % the solid/liquid composite. Hence, a nonunified analytical approach is observed. The majority of laboratories (more than 74 %) reported satisfactory results for the five scored measurands with measurable concentrations (total As, Cd, Pb, Sn and iAs). The best performances were obtained for total As, Cd and Pb. The interpretation of the respective legislation is not straightforward as indicated by the 32 laboratories that characterised the test item as compliant with the legislation, although it was not.