Field-deployable Analytical Methods to Assess the Authenticity, Safety and Quality of Food

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

5 October 2016

Start Date

17 March 2017

Expected End Date

30 June 2022

Participating Countries

Russian Federation
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America


The project will identify and select appropriate analytical techniques and develop protocols to assess the authenticity, safety and quality of food in a field-deployable context.  Milk powder and vegetable oils will be used as exemplar commodities to establish methods and guidance for ‘front-line’ food adulteration screening.


In the context of food authenticity and adulteration the overall objective of the CRP is to implement low-cost field-deployable analytical techniques for developing countries to enable rapid testing of food products to tackle the problems of adulteration and safety. The main research objective is the development of accessible, rapid methods to screen milk powder and vegetable oils using field deployable technologies. Technological advances have been made towards miniaturization of the standard powerful analytical equipment based on IMS, LIBS, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, NMR, MS and MSI. This novel analytical capacity will initially be used for analysis of milk powders and vegetable oils, as exemplar food commodities, with the aim of (see below):  

Specific objectives

Development of analytical protocols for rapid identification of isotopic/ elemental/ molecular species that may be used for identification of geographical origin of the food products

Development of analytical protocols for the detection and rapid identification of substances in food that may pose health risks.

Development of characterization strategies for mobile testing that provide guidelines for sampling, spectroscopic analysis and collation of results to maximize the robustness of the scientific output and minimize the costs of the analytical program.

Development of databases that will include optical atomic and molecular (vibrational/rotational) spectra, as well as nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry data linked to identification/characterization of the species of interest in food products.

The collection of data from authentic reference samples, which is critical for reliable assessment of market-sample authenticity and safety. The mobile facility will also be used to gather authentic samples and conduct on-site testing.

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