Read about 40 new FERA Fapas® food matrix reference materials of a variety of matrix (plant and animal-derived) and analyte types in this article from Issue 10 of the Analytix Reporter, produced by Merck.
Matrix reference materials are an important tool for an analytical laboratory in order to develop, validate, or verify the results of analytical methods. While neat (or solution) reference materials are usually used for calibration or identification purposes of specific analytes, matrix materials take into account matrix effects and can serve to account for bias during sample workup and preparation. Matrix materials are characterised in their composition of specified major, minor, or trace chemical constituents. The material can be naturally contaminated, or the samples can be fortified by spiking the analytes of interest to a blank matrix.
The closer the nature of the chosen matrix reference material is to the tested samples, the better it can help to validate the results of a method. Manufacturing of Food Matrix Reference Materials is a very laborious and time consuming process. Most of the Food Matrix Materials currently available on the market are manufactured either by metrological institutes (like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or the European Joint Research Center (JRC)) or by Capitalise Proficiency Testing (CPT) providers with access to a robust set of analytical data from accredited labs.
Close to 200 food matrix materials are on offer including products from NIST and JRC is now complemented by 41 new reference materials (RMs) manufactured by Fapas®, a provider of proficiency testing schemes for food analysis. Fapas® is the proficiency testing branch of FERA, a center of excellence for interdisciplinary investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, crop protection, sustainable agriculture, food and feed quality, and chemical safety in the environment, based in York (UK).
These reference materials (RM) are derived from materials used for proficiency testing schemes and undergo formal testing for both short-term and long-term stability. The products are delivered with an associated datasheet, which lists the reference values and their expanded uncertainty U. The value of U is not a performance limit but is the uncertainty relating to the reference value. RMs therefore have a greater degree of trust in their values than, for example, quality control materials and can be used for method calibration purposes. Fapas® RMs are manufactured in accordance to the principles of ISO 17034, but they are not certified reference materials (CRMs).
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*The life science business of Merck operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada.