Fera is the UK National Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Food and Feed and has considerable expertise in this area. Fera has carried out many research projects and surveillance exercises for the UK Food Standards Agency, The EU, and commercial customers by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Applications include speciation (total and inorganic arsenic).
Fera specialises in detecting elements in foodstuffs in both ingredients and processed foods. Fera has developed advanced techniques for example using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry) that allows analysis for up to 60 elements in one analytical run.
Contaminants such as heavy metals are substances that have not been intentionally added to food. These substances may be present in food as a result of the various stages of its production, packaging, transport or holding. They also might result from environmental contamination. Since contamination generally has a negative impact on the quality of food and may imply a risk to human health, European legislation lays down maximum allowed limits in foodstuffs. EU regulations cover the following heavy metals: cadmium, lead, mercury and inorganic tin.
Fera acts as the UK NRL for Heavy Metals in Food and Feed.
Tel: +44 (0) 1904 462667
Fax: +44 (0) 1904 462111
Email: Malcolm Baxter