March 27, 2020

With wood rosins growing in use in the food supply chain, the lack of standards emerged as an area of concern in the 2019 Analytical Solutions Forum. Six months later, a new AOAC working group already had plenty to report at the 2020 AOAC INTERNATIONAL Midyear Meeting.

On March 12, the Working Group on Rosins shared their plans for development of Standard Method Performance Requirements (SMPRs) for characterization and quantification of Glycerol Esters of Wood Rosins from pine species.

Glycerol esters of wood rosins are complex mixtures of glycerol di- and tri-esters of resin acids from wood rosin that are used as food additives such as emulsifiers, stabilizers, and density adjustment agents in many industries but most commonly in the beverage industry. Currently there are no standard definition and validated methods for compositional analysis of these additives.

With wood rosins growing in use in the food supply chain, the lack of standards for these compounds emerged as an area of concern in the 2019 AOAC Analytical Solutions Forum. In response, AOAC formed the working group, with an initial goal of creating SMPRs and an ultimate goal of delivering validated consensus methods for these compounds.

At the Midyear Meeting, working group chair Dr. Giorgia Purcaro of Univ, of Liege reviewed progress in identifying focus areas for developing SMPRs. These included glycerol mono-, di-, and tri-esters; free resin acids; and neutrals, specifically nonacidic other saponifiable and unsaponifiable substances.

AOAC’s Deborah McKenzie gave an overview of the AOAC process and how the Rosins Working Group will fit into AOAC’s strategic plan and context. She also detailed next steps for the new Working Group. She noted that while the exact shape will evolve, it will be important to include all stakeholders including reference material providers, laboratories, food and beverage organizations, and nonprofits.

AOAC is actively recruiting international volunteers with experience and expertise to serve on the working group. Participation in the working group is an opportunity to lend one’s expertise and experience to development of standards and methods for the analysis of GEWR. AOAC is seeking experts in the following areas, at a minimum:

  • Analysis of GEWR or rosins
  • Regulations or rules pertaining to GEWR or rosins
  • Development or use of GEWR or rosins
  • Analytical techniques used to evaluate rosins
  • JECFA discussions and EFSA recommendations on rosins
  • Rosins and pine species
  • Research on rosins
  • Rosin chemistry

The working group will continue to flesh out the draft SMPRs, which will be posted on the AOAC website for an open comment period. Comments will be reviewed and reconciled by the working group with a goal of presenting the SMPRs to stakeholders for consensus approval at the AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition, September 11 – 17, 2020.

To apply to join the working group, visit and complete the form. For more information, contact Deborah McKenzie, AOAC senior director of Standards and Official Methods, at [email protected].