National Reference Laboratory
Spain’s National Food Centre acts as a reference when it comes to residue
detection, milk and dairy product analysis and food-borne zoonosis, according
to that laid down by various Royal Decrees.It is also a National Reference
Laboratory for materials in contact with food.
Furthermore, in accordance with current legislation, the CNA carries out the
same functions in terms of mycotoxins and PAH in foods, pesticides in fruit and
vegetables and bacteriological and viral contamination in fishing products.
On the other hand, the National Food Centre was approved by the United
States Department of Agriculture for research into Listeria
monocytogenes, Salmonella spp.and residues from veterinary medicinal
products, pesticides, heavy metals, species identification, etc.in meat and
meat products for exporting to the USA.
The reference functions defined by these regulations relate to:
- Coordination of activities in Authorised Laboratories that deal with
control analysis and coordination of the drafting of standards and methods of
analysis for each analyte or group of analytes
- Collaboration with the competent authorities to organise the Control System
and, if applicable, the corresponding Monitoring Plan (Residues,etc.)
- Periodic organisation of comparative tests for each analyte or group of
analytes. The activities to be developed in this case are different according
to the type of intercomparison (proficiency tests,collaborative
trails,certification tests,etc.). Examples include:
- Preparation of samples.
- Stability Studies.
- Homogeneity studies.
- Rated value and uncertainty.
- Common analytical method to be used (in the case of collaborative
- Intercomparison test management (sending of samples,documents,etc.).
- Evaluation of results and their communication to participants.
- Ensuring the dissemination of the information supplied by the Community
Reference Laboratories (CRL).
- Promoting and guaranteeing that the authorised Laboratories respect the
established detection limits.
- Providing technical support to the authorised Laboratories.In this
- Providing information on analysis methods and coordinating their
application in Authorised Laboratories (especially through the application of
- Coordinating and conducting research on new methods of analysis and
informing the Authorised Laboratories of such processes.
- Providing technical and scientific assistance to authorised Laboratories,
especially in terms of confirmation, typing and diagnosis support.
- Providing training for the authorised Laboratories.In this respect:
- Organising, and if applicable, coordinating training and improvement
courses and conferences for the staff that work in Authorised
As a Reference Laboratory of the Agency,the activity of the CNA is geared
towards the most complex of methodologies such as liquid chromatography coupled
to both triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) or single quadrupole
mass spectrometry (LC/MS). Activity is also geared towards similar studies such
as gas chromatography mass spectrometry GC/MS and GC/MS-MS, high-resolution
mass spectrometry (HRMS), RT- PCR, etc.