Recent ISO Meeting In Paris

The majority of food standards within the ISO system are the responsibility of ISO TC34 food products, for which the chair and secretary are provided by AFNOR, France. The various foods are split into categories and are looked after by sub-committees of TC34. The sub-committees which are of interest to our community are SC2 oilseeds and their derivatives, and SC11 animal and vegetable fats and oils, for which FOSFA has held the secretariat for the past 20 years. The workings of these sub-committees and their feedback and co-ordination are discussed on an annual basis at the TC34 Chairman’s Advisory Group. The last meeting of this group was held in Paris on 26/27 March.

The meeting was attended by more than 30 people, being formed of the chair and/or secretary of most of the 18 sub-committees of TC34. It was a lively and informative meeting and the main topics were:

The new chairman for TC34 will be Mr Paul Mennecier, who works for the French Ministry of Food.

The committee agreed that the two sub-committees concerned with fruit and vegetables will be combined into SC3 and named SC03 Fruits and vegetables and their derived products, the secretariat of which will remain with Turkey.

It was agreed that the topic of fish would be taken out of the scope of SC6, but fish quality remains a TC34 responsibility. China has agreed to provide the Secretariat of SC6.

There were discussions between the chairs of SC5 milk and milk products and SC11 concerning the scope of SC11. It was agreed that the most practicable solution was to add a statement to the scope of SC11 stating that SC11 did not include milk and its derivatives and to ensure that there was communication between the secretariats when any particular points which may give rise to confusion did occur. The secretariat of SC5 will be invited to the next SC11 meeting in Gouda, Netherlands, in September 2015, so the change to the scope of SC11 can be discussed by the member bodies.

Any new work item proposal must be considered, bearing in mind that it may be of interest to other sub-committees.

There was a presentation on standard method performance requirements in which it was explained that these are the first stage of method development since they concern fitness for purpose. They must include an applicability statement, but it was agreed that they should not be published within the ISO system as yet.

ISIRI will lead a working group on the determination of aflatoxins, which is likely to be a horizontal group of methods including oils and fats.

It was agreed that SC11 would investigate the requirements and solutions for methods for the analysis of phospholipids in marine oils, including krill oils. NMR, as well as HPLC, will be considered for the methodology.

In summary, this was a positive meeting and demonstrated that ISO is growing in strength in the area of food products.

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