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Newsletter

January 2015
  • Acrylamide in Food Products
  • Halal Standards in the Food Industry
  • 2015 – The Year of Soils
  • Cooperation LAT and LPU
  • BIOFACH
  • 7th Food Safety Kongress
 

Dear Reader,

we hope that you had a good start in the New Year! Again 2015 we present you our GBA-Newsletter with current and interesting subjects concerning our analytical services.

Enjoy reading!
Your GBA Laboratory Group

 

Acrylamide in Food Products

By Mareen Lehmann, GBA Laboratory Group

Warnings about acrylamide in food products constantly appear in the media, but what is acrylamide, where does it originate from, and how can I protect myself from it?

Acrylamide is formed when carbohydrate-rich food products are heated strongly and when reactions occur between reducing sugars and protein building blocks (e.g. asparagine). Temperatures of about 120° C promote the formation of small amounts of acrylamide, whereas a sharp rise can occur starting at 170° C. It doesn't matter whether the food product is baked, grilled, roasted, pan-fried, deep-fried, or toasted. [1] Thus, Acrylamide is not only a topic for food producers, but also for the food service industry and for private households.

Acrylamide can enter the human body either through food consumption, skin contact, or by inhalation. In studies conducted on animals, it was shown that acrylamide poses a potential health threat. This is due to the glycidamide generated in the liver, which is classified as being genotoxic and carcinogenic. Based on the existing data, researchers conclude that there may be an elevated cancer risk for consumers of all ages.[2] However, they also make it clear that it is practically impossible to completely avoid consuming acrylamide. Yet they advise preparing food with gentle methods, thus keeping the acrylamide content as low as possible. "Gold, not brown" is the motto.[3]

The highest acrylamide content can be found in food products made from potatoes, e.g. chip and French fries, but it is also found in wheat products (e.g. cookies, crackers, and toast), as well as coffee (from the roasting process). In November 2013, the European Commission issued a new recommendation for the analysis of acrylamide content in food products, based on the knowledge gained over the past few years.[4] In it, guideline values are been defined for certain food products. If these are exceeded, the authorities and the manufacturers should investigate the reason for the elevated acrylamide content together and then work to reduce it.

Additionally, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has created a draft of a scientific opinion report on the topic of acrylamide in food products and the health effects resulting in its consumption. After the draft is finalized (expected in June 2015), European and national decision-makers will be able to consider further measures for minimizing consumer exposure, measures such as issuing recommendations concerning dietary habits and/or monitoring food production processes.[5]
The GBA Laboratory carries out the analysis of acrylamide and can offer you comprehensive consulting on this topic. Of course, we will continue to keep you informed about the latest developments.

If you have any questions, please contact your individual customer service representative or:

GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik mbH
Ms. Mareen Lehmann
Tel: +49 (0)40 797172-0



Literature:
[1] Thema Lebensmittel Acrylamid; Österreichische Agentur für Gesundheit und Ernährungssicherheit (AGES); 07 Jan 2014
[2] Fragen und Antworten zu Acrylamid; Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung; 24 August 2011
[3] Acrylamide in Food, Infographic; European Food Safety Authority; September 2014
[4] Commission Recommendation (2013/647/EU) of the EU-Commission: Investigations into the Levels of Acrylamide in Food, accessed on Jan 07, 2015,
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:301:0015:0017:DE:PDF
[5] "Acrylamide in food is a public health concern, says EFSA draft"; EFSA; Press Release, July 1, 2014.


 

Maintaining Halal Standards in the Food Industry

By Muharrem Persen, GBA Laboratory Group

As is the case in many religions, in Islam there are also special rules about food, drink, and the slaughter of animals, called the halal guidelines. Food production companies can also become certified for maintaining halal standards.

"Halal," an Arabic word meaning "allowed" or "permitted," applies to all actions and things that are allowed according to Muslim law. The opposite of "halal" is "haram”, which designates everything that is forbidden by traditional Islamic law, Sharia.[1]

Regarding diet, the following major categories are considered haram by Muslims[2]:
-    Pork products (includes all products and ingredients, even additives,
     made from pigs)
-    Carnivorous animals, including birds of prey, reptiles, insects, amphibians
-    Non-halal slaughtered animals, animals slaughtered for other religions
-    Blood
-    Carrion
-    Alcohol and other intoxicating substances

For a halal certification, one must be able to demonstrate flawless halal conformity, from the raw materials all the way to the final product. The presence of pig residue and alcohol should be checked by taking samples.[1]
The GBA Laboratory Group can support you in the implementation of halal guidelines in your company by providing analyses. In order to rule out even the smallest amount of contamination, our laboratory can carry out a purity test to check for pork product residue using Real-Time PCR technology. With this method, it is possible to detect residue up to 0.01%. The determination of alcohol residue can also be carried out in our facilities using GC-FID analysis.

If you have any questions about this field, please contact us:

GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik mbH
Mr. Muharrem Persen
Tel: +49 (0)5151 / 98 49 – 0


Literature:
[1] http://www.halal-zertifizierung.de/#Religion , Accessed: 07 Jan 2015
[2] http://www.eurohalal.eu/index.php/ueber-halal.html , Accessed: 07 Jan 2015

 

2015 – The Year of Soils

By Carsten Schaffors, GBA Laboratory Group

The year 2015 was declared the "International Year of Soils" by the United Nations. Soils, which are essential for human life since they enable the cultivation of fresh produce and renewable commodities, are being lost worldwide due to erosion and contamination, or are simply being paved over. Additionally, soils filter pollutants, bond nutrients, and help ensure our supply of drinking water by storing water. Soils are also important for protecting against climate change, since they store twice as much carbon (1.5 trillion tons) as can be found in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2).[1]

10 million hectars of of soil are lost worldwide every year. Today, a quarter of the total soil surface area already contains considerably less humus and nutrients than 25 years ago, or can no longer be used as arable farmland at all. Based on the world's population growth, in 2050 the average amount of arable farmland available per capita statistically will be half of what it is today.[1] Therefore, political action is urgently needed in order to combat soil degradation and to enable fair access to arable soil.

At the inaugural event for the 1st International World Soil Day on December 5, 2014, in Berlin, three German agencies, the Umweltbundesamt (UBA – environmental protection agency), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – German Society for International Cooperation), and the Potsdamer Nachhaltigkeitsinstitut IASS (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies), all agreed that the only things that can protect our soils on the long-term will be the forthcoming implementation of effective international agreements.

In the coming year, there will be many events concerning this topic in Germany. You can find information about events and a guide book for Germany's soils on the UBA's website () and at the UN FAO website .

Literature:
[1] Press Report No. 55 from 05 December 2014, Joint Press Release by the Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Deutscher Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Potsdamer Nachhaltigkeitsinstitut IASS


 

Intensifying the Cooperation Between LAT and LPU: Merger Between Two Pharmaceutical Analysis Companies in the GBA Laboratory Group

By Carsten Schaffors, GBA Laboratory Group

Effective January 1, 2015, LAT GmbH Dr. Tittel, based in Graefelfing, merged with LPU Labor fuer Pharma- und Umweltanalytik GmbH, based in Martinsried. This step marks the start of an intense and close cooperation between the two companies of the GBA Laboratory Group, with the goal of increasing the quality and efficiency of the two labs located south of Munich in order to benefit you, our customer. Both locations – Am Haag 4 in Graefelfing, 82166 (formerly LAT GmbH Dr. Tittel) as well as the LPU site on Fraunhofer Str. 11a in Martinsried, 82152 – will remain in operation. Dr. Franz Kelnhofer, who has been the managing director of LAT GmbH Dr. Tittel since December 1, 2011, and has held this title at LPU since August 1, 2014, will remain the managing director of the company after the merger, which will retain the company name LPU Labor fuer Pharma- und Umweltanalytik GmbH. Your individual customer service representatives and their telephone numbers will not be changed either, so you can contact us the same way as always.

You may contact us at:

LPU Labor für Pharma- und Umweltanalytik GmbH
Fraunhoferstraße 11 a
82152  Martinsried
Tel: +49 (0)89 / 899 229-0

LAT, as of 1/1/2015:
LPU Labor für Pharma- und Umweltanalytik GmbH
Am Haag 4
82166  Gräfelfing


 

GBA Employees Celebrate Longterm Commitment to the Company

By Sabine Gerkau, GBA Laboratory Group

The GBA Laboratory Group concluded its 25th year of operation in December 2014 by honoring those who reached employment milestones. In total, 10 employees of the GBA Laboratory Group were honored for their long-term work, their commitment, and their loyalty in the company, for 10, 20, and 25 years. Additionally, three managers also had their 20 year work anniversary: Mr. Manfred Giesecke (Managing Director and Shareholder), Mr. Ralf Murzen (Managing Director of Environmental Analysis), and Mr. Carsten Schaffors (Managing Director of Marketing/Sales, IT, Purchasing, and Controlling). Long-term employment is always a good sign of employee satisfaction in a company. "We always strive to continue developing our employees, because long-term experience is the most valuable asset in the field of analytical services," said Manfred Giesecke, "the GBA Laboratory Group has only been able to establish itself as a major player on the market due to its analytical competence in the field as well as by developing special focal points in our work."

 

BIOFACH – The Worldwide Leading Trade Fair for Organic Food

By Sabine Gerkau, GBA Laboratory Group

For the first time, the GBA Laboratory Group will be represented at the BIOFACH trade fair in Nuremberg from February 11 – 14, 2015. The GBA booth will be located in Hall 6, Stand 113. We will be available to answer questions and offer consultation concerning our diverse analysis portfolio for the national and international public. We would also like to stay true to the motto: "Organic is more than a seal or a certificate, organic stands for quality and commitment." We are the competent partner by your side, supporting you in the quality assurance for your organic food products.

Feel free to visit our food experts at the trade show – we are looking forward to seeing you there!

For a personal appointment at our trade show booth, please contact us:

GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik mbH
21073  Hamburg
Tel: +49 (0)40 797172-0


 

7th Food Safety Kongress in Berlin

By Sabine Gerkau, GBA Laboratory Group

A can't miss for the GBA Laboratory Group! This year, the 7th Food Safety Convention will take place on February 24th and 25th, 2015, in the event facilities of the nhow hotel in Berlin. High-level food experts from the industry and the trade will come together under the motto: "Trust in food – from the producer to the consumer."

The GBA Laboratory Group will be represented there with a booth. Furthermore, Dr. Sven Steinhauer, the Director of the Research & Development department, will hold a lecture on "Modern Analysis – Possibilities and Limits" on February 25th at 12:30 p.m. This lecture will deal with topics such as the developments in analysis, assessments of toxicological aspects, neutral results in a medial context, and legally sound appraisals of "new" analytes. 

You can download the complete program on our homepage here . As a customer of the GBA Laboratory Group, you will receive a 15% discount off the convention's listed price.

Feel free to contact us, we will gladly send you further information:

GBA Gesellschaft für Bioanalytik mbH
Dr. Sven Steinhauer
Tel: +49 (0)40 797172-0


We're looking forward to your visit!


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