Methods of Analysis and Sampling

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Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling
(Host Government - Hungary)

The Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) defines criteria for Codex methods of analysis and sampling and coordinates the work of Codex with other international groups working in methods of analysis and sampling and quality assurance systems for laboratories.

CCMAS specifies reference methods of analysis and sampling for Codex Standards and considers and endorses methods of analysis and sampling proposed by Codex Committees, except those related to pesticide residues and veterinary drugs in food, the assessment of microbiological quality and safety in food and food additives. It also considers issues submitted to it by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and defines procedures, protocols and guidelines for quality assurance systems and assessment of proficiency for food laboratories.

Existing Codex Standards

Standards relating to methods of analysis and sampling* that have been endorsed and adopted into the international food code include:

  • Recommended Methods of Analysis and Sampling
  • Methods of Analysis and Sampling for Fruit Juices and Related Products
  • Guidelines on Performance Criteria and Validation of Methods for Detection, Identification and Quantification of Specific DNA Sequences and Specific Proteins in Foods.

 *This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards.

Last Meeting

The 37th Session of the Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling met in Budapest, Hungary from 22 -26 February 2016.

Matters for Adoption by the 39th Commission

The Committee forwarded the following for adoption:

  • Methods of analysis and sampling in Codex Standards for adoption (para. 44, Appendix II); and  
  • Amendments to the Procedural Manual (paras 60 and 73, Appendix III).

Matters of Interest to the Commission

The Committee:

  • noted that food integrity/food authentication was an important issue and might need to be addressed by CCMAS, but would wait on the outcome of the discussion at CAC39 (paras 9 – 11);
  • noted that it was not in a position to reply to the question posed by CAC38 on the appropriate protein conversion factors for soy products as this was in the remit of other Codex committees; and noted that it might be timely for FAO and WHO to convene an expert panel to review available literature to assess the scientific basis for protein conversion factors (paras 12 – 13);
  • agreed to discontinue consideration of procedures/guidelines for determining equivalency to Type I methods until further information becomes available (para. 51); to continue work on (i) guidance on the criteria approach for methods which use a “sum of components” (para. 62); (ii) the criteria approach for endorsement of biological methods used to detect chemicals of concern (para. 70); and (iii) to identify areas for improvement and amendments to the Guidelines for Measurement Uncertainty (CAC/GL 54-2004) to address possible procedures for determining uncertainty of measurement results (para. 109); and to work on the review of the General Guidelines on Sampling (CAC/GL 50-2004) to identify areas for potential revision (para. 22);
  • agreed to request comments on the information document on practical examples to assist with the understanding of the implementation of the Principles for the use of sampling and testing in international food trade (CAC/GL 83-2013) for finalisation by CCMAS38 (paras. 98 – 99, Appendix V); and
  • agreed to continue with the review and update of methods of analysis in CODEX STAN 234-1999, using the internal process for such review and update (paras 75 – 76, Appendix IV); and to develop a preamble for CODEX STAN 234-1999 (para. 86).

Matters Referred to Other Committees

Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CCEXEC)

The Committee agreed that there was no need to develop a new approach for the management of its work, but that such an approach could be considered in future if needed (para. 8).

Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)

The Committee:

  • agreed that it was not in a position to reply to the questions posed by CCNFSDU37 as the determination of conversion factors was in the remit of CCNFSDU (paras 12 – 13);
  • agreed that the two methods (R5 and G12) are not comparable, that comparability data for the two methods were not available, and mixed matrices are not included in the scope of either of the methods obtained during their validation (para. 23); and
  • endorsed some methods of analysis for provisions in the Standard for Infant Formula and Formulas for Special Medical Purposes Intended for Infants; made additional proposals; or requested clarification on some matters (paras 30 – 39 and 44, Appendix II).

Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP)

The Committee:

  • endorsed the methods of analysis as presented by CCFFP, and proposed that the nitrogen factors be made available on a single FAO website (para. 29).

Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH)

The Committee made recommendations for methods of analysis for consideration by CCSCH (paras 26 – 28 and 44, Appendix II).

Codex Committee on General Principles

The Committee agreed to request endorsement of the amendments to the Procedural Manual (paras 60 and 73, Appendix III).

FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Asia (CCASIA)

The Committee reconfirmed AOAC 983.23 for determination of lipids in tempe (para. 41).

All Relevant Codex Committees

The Committee agreed to remind Codex committees that ex-RM methods should be replaced by internationally validated methods and that recommendations should be made to CCMAS for endorsement (para. 81).

Next Meeting

The 38th Session of the Committee is tentatively scheduled to take place within the next 12 to 18 months, in Budapest, Hungary.

Related Links

Australian Government National Measurement Institute

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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