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Heavy Metals in Food and Feed NRL

EU-RL Inter-Laboratory Comparisons (ILC)

The EU-RL organises a number of interlaboratory comparison studies. Some are open for registration to all laboratories. Ongoing EU-RL ILCs and EU-RL Heavy Metals ILCs are available.

JRC-IRMM (EU-RL) operates the International Measurement Evaluation Programme (IMEP®). All laboratories can participate in the regular IMEPs. The IMEP-100 series are interlaboratory comparisons organised on behalf of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food and are open for nominated National Reference Laboratories only.

Official methods for the determination of heavy metals in feed and food

EU-RL Official methods for the determination of heavy metals in feed and food: A list published by the EU-RL (May 2010).

IRMM Reference Materials

Links provided are for information and are not exhaustive.

IRMM Reference Materials: this website allows you to browse the catalogue by product group or search for a specific material.

Analytical Standards

Links provided are for information and are not exhaustive.

These are available from a range of suppliers including VWR

Inorganic Ventures supply a range of ICP multi element solutions.

High-Purity Standards manufacture and supply single and multi element standards for a range of applications.

Proficiency Test (PT) Schemes

  • European Proficiency Testing Information System (EPTIS) is a cooperation of 39 partner organisations from all continents. Most of these are national metrology institutes, testing institutes or accreditation bodies. EPTIS helps locate suitable proficiency tests (PT). There are many PT schemes available worldwide (a scheme is a coherent series of single rounds).
    EPTIS database collects together data sheets and is free to search.

  • FAPAS, FEPAS, Gemma, Leap and Phytopas are proficiency testing schemes independently run by Fera to enable laboratories worldwide to assess their proficiency in chemical and microbiological analysis
    FAPAS Test Materials are sometimes available to buy.

  • The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) is one of the seven institutes of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), a Directorate-General of the European Commission (EC). Proficiency tests are normally carried out only on request of another Commission department or agency. Some comparisons are run to certify reference materials and validation studies are organised regularly to validate analysis methods. Many of the interlaboratory comparisons are open to all laboratories that wish to participate but some are restricted to e.g. national reference laboratories.

  • LGC Standards Proficiency Testing
  • LGC Standards is a UKAS accredited international provider of proficiency testing (PT) services to laboratories undertaking chemical measurements.


  • Archive
  • NFA Proficiency Testing Programme Food chemistry is closed

    The Swedish National Food Agency (NFA) has run a Food Chemistry Proficiency Testing Programme for many years. Over the last years the number of participants has been gradually decreasing. It has now come to a level where it is difficult to evaluate results with the quality the participants have a right to request. The risk of making wrong decisions has risen to an unacceptable level. Furthermore the low number of participants means that we are now below the financial break-even level. Since the PT-programme receives no external funding we must be financially self-sufficient.
    Updated: 09/01/2012