February 15, 2023

Internationally acclaimed pesticide residue chemist honored for outstanding contributions to analytical standards and methods


Dr. Michelangelo Anastassiades

Rockville, Maryland, February 15, 2023 — Dr. John Szpylka, President of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, announced that Dr. Michelangelo Anastassiades is the recipient of the 2023 Harvey W. Wiley Award, the Association’s highest honor for lifetime scientific achievement.

Anastassiades is a Cypriot/German chemist who has been the head of the European Union’s Reference Laboratories for Residues for Pesticides Requiring Single Residue Methods (EURL-SRM) since it was established in 2006. His accomplishments include a series of innovations in the early 2000s that revolutionized pesticide residue detection and are now being used by the vast majority of labs across the globe.

His most significant contribution to the development of analytical standards and methods is an analytical approach called QuEChERS (pronounced “kechers”) which stands for Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe. It’s an extraction process for testing for most residues of pesticides and their metabolites.

Szpylka said, “Michelangelo Anastassiades exemplifies the values of AOAC’s Harvey W. Wiley Award with his significant contribution to analytical standards and methods. His QuEChERS approach has been adopted by laboratories the world over and in about 90% of labs.”

AOAC’s Deputy Executive Director and Chief Science Officer Dr. Katerina Mastovska said, “Michelangelo has been very influential within the global pesticide residue analysis and also broader chemical residue and contaminants community, where basically everyone knows and benefited from the QuEChERS methodology.”

The QuEChERS method led to the development of two important Official Methods for pesticide residue analysis: EN 15662 and AOAC 2007.01. His current project is to find ways to cover the 20 to 25 percent of pesticides and pesticide metabolites not amenable to the basic QuEChERS method. The goal is to find analytes with similar properties and group them as much as possible under the same basic techniques. In addition, many labs have expanded QuEChERS to include other classes of compounds for subsequent quantification.

Mastovska nominated Anastassiades for the award during her previous tenure with Eurofins Scientific and continued, “Michelangelo has contributed and keeps contributing many more methods and ideas that have transformed the field and will keep shaping it thanks to his clear vision and enormous personal dedication to help and support other analytical chemists and laboratories. His analytical methods are widely used by many labs around the world.”

AOAC leadership will present Anastassiades with the 2023 Wiley Award at the 2023 AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition, from August 25 to 30, 2023, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. A profile of Michelangelo Anastassiades by Richard A. Lovett, JD, PhD, will be in the next issue of AOAC’s Inside Laboratory Management.



AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a globally recognized, 501(c)(3), independent, third party, not-for-profit association and voluntary consensus standards developing organization founded in 1884. When analytical needs arise within a community or industry, AOAC INTERNATIONAL is the forum for finding appropriate science-based solutions through the development of microbiological and chemical standards. The AOAC Official Methods of AnalysisSM database is used by food scientists around the world to facilitate public health and safety and to promote trade. For more information, please visit AOAC.org.

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