Reference material to support improved quantification of vitamins in food

LGC Standards has introduced a new certified reference material for food testing laboratories that will enable them to detect and quantify reliably a number of water and fat soluble vitamins in whole milk powder, and thereby comply with the European Union (EU) Directive 90/496/EEC legislation on Nutrition Labelling of Foodstuffs.
The Directive (and its successive amendments) includes vitamins among the list of ingredients required to be included on food product labels. In order for food manufacturers to comply with this and other international legislations regarding the identification and labelling of a product’s contents, the need for accurate methods for vitamin determination is of utmost importance.

To help food laboratories achieve sufficient levels of identification and quantification, a new certified reference material is now available for vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C and E mass fractions in whole milk powder (ERM-BD600).

Indicative values are attributed for the mass fractions of niacin and total folate, while additional material information is provided for vitamins B6 and D3. Milk powder was chosen for the matrix format because dairy products constitute a significant portion of food consumption.
Produced by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements, one of the Institutes of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in accordance to ISO Guides 34 and 35, the new reference material is intended for use in method validation (trueness estimation) and method performance control. Certified and indicative values for ERM-BD600 are 3.8 ± 0.6 mg/kg for vitamin A (all-trans-retinol), 4.1 ± 0.8 mg/kg for vitamin A (all-trans-retinol and 13-cis-retinol), 4.5 ± 0.6 mg/kg for vitamin B1, 16.7 ± 1.4 mg/kg for vitamin B2, 0.32 ± 0.07 mg/kg for vitamin B12, 74 ± 11 mg/kg for vitamin C, 86 ± 15 mg/kg for vitamin E, 8.0 ± 2.8 mg/kg for niacin and 0.55 ± 0.16 mg/kg for total folate.
Values are based on an inter-laboratory characterisation study; the uncertainty values contain contributions from the characterisation study and the homogeneity and stability assessment. In the majority of cases, the values are operationally defined by the methodology used for the determination.
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