Corporate report

Government Chemist Annual Review 2017

Referee casework, research projects, advice and impact of work carried out by the Government Chemist team


Government Chemist Review 2017

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The Government Chemist Annual Review provides highlights from the referee cases, advisory work and research carried out during the year.

During 2017 the referee casework load was similar to previous years but had variety and some interesting challenges:

  • mycotoxins - evaluating the levels of these mould-produced toxins in peanuts

  • allergens - analysing apricots for presence of sulphites above the maximum permited limit

  • nitrofurans - detecting these veterinary antibiotics in shelfish

  • kratom - assisting Court proceedings with regard to the classification of this leaf as “novel food”

  • jelly cups - helping port authorities to interpret legislation seeking to control choking risks of ingesting jelly confectionery

  • genetically modified organisms - measuring presence of GMOs over permitted threshold in rice

The Government Chemist team provided input, advice and opinions on ongoing areas of concern, such as honey authenticity, food supplement claims and analytical tolerances in alcohol declarations.

As well as responding to current concerns, the Government Chemist is continually identifying and preparing for forthcoming challenges, such as exiting the EU, the consumer as an analyst, and evolving consumer behaviours. The Review provides highlights of the projects identified to build capabilities in these key areas such as portable technologies, exploitation of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and PCR technologies for food authenticity purposes, and advanced mass spectrometry techniques for mycotoxins.

The Review also details how the Government Chemist team works to disseminate and transfer knowledge to get maximum impact from the activities described above.

For more information about the work of the Government Chemist contact:

Government Chemist

Queens Road
TW11 0LY

Published 11 September 2018