Independently of the analytical methods accredited by Spain’s National Accreditation Entity (ENAC), the National Food Centre is continuously committed to the development, fine tuning and validation of new techniques. This also applies to those established techniques that require adaptation to new analytes and matrices. In this sense, the following are worth noting:
- The development of new non-immunological methods for the detection and quantification of the gluten content in foods, based on the extraction of DNA present in food. This is followed by the subsequent amplification of wheat, barley, rye, oats prolamin specific sequences using PCR and real-time PCR techniques.
- The development of works geared towards researching the possible presence of semicarbazide (SEM), a residue present in the sealant of lids belonging to glass containers with metal closing devices. The instrumental technique LC/MS-MS is used.
- The development and validation of the dioxin analysis method in food using high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS).
- Development and validation of analytical methods for the identification and quantification of new GMOs that are receiving authorisation in the EU in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. This also includes GMOs that have not been authorised in the EU but are on the market in non-EU countries (USA, Canada, Japan, Argentina, etc…).
- The development and fine tuning of new analytical methods for plant protection products in foods using GC-HS and LC/MS-MS,according to a multi-residue/multi-matrix approach in the application of Technical Note 19 of ENAC.
- Analytical development and incidence and control studies on Mycotoxins, Biogenic Amines, Marine and freshwater toxins (PSP, DSP, ASP and microcystins) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.
- Development of techniques for the determination of sulphites, nitrates, nitrites and other anions in foods that have not yet been tested but are required by the Inspection Services.
- Methodological development and study of acrylamide content in foods that have a high carbohydrate content and have been subject to technological processes that require high temperatures.
- The development, fine tuning and validation of methodologies intended to meet the new migration control needs in analytical methods for the determination of amines in materials in contact with food.
- The development and validation of analytical methods for the determination of metals in water consumed by the public. This is carried out using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, in accordance with the requirements laid down in the Spanish Royal Decree 1074/2003.
Applied research for the development of new methodologies for the control of fraudulent substances in the illegal fattening of livestock (beta-agonists, corticosteroids, antibiotics, etc.), within the National Residue Monitoring Plan for Meat and Fish (PNIR). Such controls are conducted by implementing the latest analytical technologies for increasing efficiency and safety. The improved instruments are used in the most established of techniques, such as gas and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry or in the most sensitive and specific detectors, respectively. This includes: