November 18, 2020

Chinese and international scientists from government, academia and industry gathered October 26-28, 2020 at the Forum of Food Analytical Science and Standards 2020, the AOAC China Section Meeting in Shanghai, China.

The meeting kicked off with opening remarks from the Section’s president, Dr. Liang Chengzhu, joined by Dr. Henry Chin, Past-President of AOAC INTERNATIONAL and David Schmidt, AOAC’s Executive Director. In meetings and via eight scientific symposia, attendees discussed issues from international food standards harmonization to food authenticity, veterinary drug residues, reference materials, food for special medical use, infant formula, and more. The program included four AOAC recorded presentations including updates on the Analytical Solutions Forum and other topics.

AOAC’s Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals (SPIFAN) was there for a joint working meeting of the Working Group on Collaboration of Regional and International Matrices for Vitamin C. This working group was formed in September 2020 to develop a vitamin C standard for various matrices including baby food. In this groundbreaking initiative, Chinese and Western scientists are working together to develop parallel AOAC and Chinese GB standards that will meet the needs of both parties.

Guided by co-chairs from Europe and China, the working group has developed draft Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs) and discussions in the recent in-person meeting centered on remaining questions about the SMPR, which is now proceeding to its final draft.

SPIFAN chair Darryl Sullivan and China Section president Chengzhu Liang presided over the meeting, attended by 37 in-person and 20 remote participants from AOAC and SPIFAN outside contributors.

“We’ve been engaging with the Chinese analytical science community in small ways for more than seven years,” said Sullivan. “This meeting was an exciting step forward, since now we are at the table working together. I feel certain this joint initiative is a model for future cooperation in standards harmonization. We all share the same goals of facilitating global trade and ensuring public safety and health.”

Working Group chairs Ning Lyu of Qingdao Customs and Esther Campos-Gimenez of Nestlé led the discussion that included Chinese government representatives, AOAC subject matter experts, and multi-national infant formula manufacturers.

These included the China National Institute of Standardization, the Shanghai Institute of Quality Inspection and Technical Research, CAIQ, CCIC Jiangsu, CCAA, Shanghai and Qingdao customs agencies, Chengdu Food and Drug Control, Jiangnan University, and others. Multinational companies including Nestle, Abbott, Danone, Metrohm, Altascientific and others also participated.

The working group will continue to meet electronically and present a draft SMPR at the AOAC Midyear meeting.