A “standard” is an agreed, repeatable protocol for performing analytical tests. Standards contains technical specifications and criteria designed to be used consistently.
To develop standards, AOAC acts as a convener, bringing together experts to identify gaps in food safety testing and to create scientific standards that accurately and reliably fill those gaps.
AOAC organizes volunteers from industry, government, nonprofits, and academia to participate in workgroups focusing on specific food safety testing needs. These expert stakeholders first define specifically what is needed in a test, then evaluate the reliability and accuracy of testing solutions submitted by scientists. Standards that pass this “consensus” scrutiny are accepted as valid by the global analytical community.
AOAC’s published standards are used by government agencies regulating food and food-related products, as well as by food manufacturers to ensure their products are compliant.
Standard Method Performance Requirements℠ (SMPRs) are voluntary consensus standards, developed by stakeholders, that prescribe the minimum analytical performance requirements for classes of analytical methods. SMPRs are unique to AOAC’s processes, and were introduced in recognition of the fact that acceptance criteria are critical to evaluating the suitability of any testing protocol for its intended use.
“Analytical Methods” are detailed guidelines and protocols used in performing laboratory chemical or microbiological analyses.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL’s Official Methods of Analysis℠ program is the organization’s premier program for consensus method development. Methods approved in this program have undergone rigorous scientific and systematic scrutiny and are deemed to be highly credible and defensible. The methods are published in the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL and supporting manuscripts are published in the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL.