March 10, 2020

New accreditation includes 20 new vitamins and minerals in infant formula and pH in meat and cheese

ROCKVILLE, MD USA, March 10, 2020—At its annual Midyear Meeting, AOAC INTERNATIONAL announced the expansion of its Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program. The program’s Scope of Accreditation now includes proficiency testing for infant formula and adult nutritionals and pH.

The specific additions to the program’s Scope of Accreditation include the water-soluble vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and C, as well as Pantothenic Acid (B5), Biotin, and Folic Acid. The oil-soluble vitamins A, D, D2, D3, E, and K were also added as well as other nutrients including Fatty Acids, Iodine, Myo‐inositol, Nucleotides, and Ultratrace Minerals (Selenium). In addition, pH was added to the Meat Chemistry and Cheese Chemistry proficiency testing programs.

Proficiency testing is a formal process for those accredited laboratories needing independent proof that they meet globally recognized standards for quality and accuracy. Laboratories are sent standardized samples provided by an independent, accredited third party such as AOAC, and their results are compared with known values.

Proficiency tests are specific to what is being analyzed (the analyte) and the environment in which it is found (the matrix) such as meat, cheese or milk. AOAC’s Proficiency Testing program was already accredited for a broad range of food pathogens and nutritional labelling tests.

AOAC’s Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program is accredited by A2LA, one of three accrediting bodies in the U.S. that are empowered to assess proficiency testing providers to ensure they meet standards set out in the International Standards Organization’s ISO/IEC 17043:2010 requirements.

“Accredited Proficiency Testing programs are essential in ensuring safety of the food supply chain,” said Trace McInturff of A2LA. “Choosing a proficiency testing provider that is accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 ensures the competence of the provider and their process.”

AOAC sought to expand the program’s scope following ongoing requests from laboratories needing accreditation for analyzing these analytes. As just one of a comprehensive suite of services AOAC provides including training, standards development, methods validation, and reference materials, the Proficiency Testing program benefited from data collected over the past year by a sister program, the Stakeholder Panel for Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals (SPIFAN). Data on the homogeneity and stability of samples and the reliability of AOAC’s process in both programs was submitted to A2LA for review. The expanded scope was approved on February 13, 2020.

For more information, please contact Arlene Fox, Senior Director of Proficiency Testing, at afox@aoac.org.