Methods of Analysis and Sampling

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Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling
(Host Government - Hungary)

The Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS) defines criteria for Codex methods of analysis and sampling and coordinates the work of Codex with other international groups working in methods of analysis and sampling and quality assurance systems for laboratories.

CCMAS specifies reference methods of analysis and sampling for Codex Standards and considers and endorses methods of analysis and sampling proposed by Codex Committees, except those related to pesticide residues and veterinary drugs in food, the assessment of microbiological quality and safety in food and food additives. It also considers issues submitted to it by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and defines procedures, protocols and guidelines for quality assurance systems and assessment of proficiency for food laboratories.

Existing Codex Standards

Standards relating to methods of analysis and sampling* that have been endorsed and adopted into the international food code include:

  • Recommended Methods of Analysis and Sampling
  • Methods of Analysis and Sampling for Fruit Juices and Related Products
  • Guidelines on Performance Criteria and Validation of Methods for Detection, Identification and Quantification of Specific DNA Sequences and Specific Proteins in Foods.

 *This is an indicative list only. For a full list of standards approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, please consult its Official List of Standards.

Last Meeting

The 35th Session of the Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling met in Budapest, Hungary from 3-7 March 2014.

Matters for Adoption by the 37th Commission

The 35th Session of the Committee forwarded methods of analysis and sampling in Codex Standards at different steps for adoption (paras 18, 23-24 and 26, Appendix II).

Other Matters of Interest to the Commission

The Committee:

  • agreed to return to Step 2/3 for redrafting, comments and further discussion at the next session the proposed draft Explanatory Notes to the Principles for the use of sampling and testing in international trade (CAC/GL 83-2013) and to include practical examples for sampling plans to CAC/GL 83-2013);
  • agreed to further consider proposals for amendments to methods of analysis and proposals for sampling plans; development of procedures/guidelines for determining equivalency to Type I methods and development of a criteria approach for methods which use a "sum of components"; to compile a single list of methods in CODEX STAN 234 and commodity standards and a conduct a validation exercise.

Matters Referred to Other Committees

Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF)

The 35th Session of the Committee agreed to request CCCF to consider alternative criteria for methods of analysis for DON in cereals and cereal- based products (para.19, Appendix III); and in relation to the sampling plan for DON to provide the rationale for the aggregate sample weight, to consider whether the 3 increment samples is sufficient for samples not more than 50kg and to consider whether the particle size should be specified for the test portion

Committee on Fish and Fishery Products (CCFFP)

The 35th Session of CCMAS agreed to provide proposals to CCFFP for sampling plans for the Standard for Live Abalone and For Raw, Fresh Chilled or Frozen Abalone for Direct Consumption or for Further Processing; Standard for Smoked Fish, Smoke-Flavoured Fish and Smoke-Dried Fish; and the Draft Standard for Fresh and Quick Frozen Raw Scallop Products (para.16); and replied to CCFFP that a sampling plan could be a reference to a specific table from the General Guidelines on Sampling (CAC/GL 50-2004) accompanied by an AQL.

Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)

The Committee agreed to request CCNFSDU to consider whether the new method for dietary fibre, AACCI 32-50.01|AOAC 2011.25 should be included in the CODEX STAN 234-1999 and if so, how it should be accommodated

Codex Commodity Committees

CCMAS agreed to request commodity committees to submit practical examples for sampling plans for consideration by the Committee at the next session in 2015.

Next Meeting

The 36th Session of the Committee is tentatively scheduled to be held in Budapest, Hungary from 2-6 March 2015.

Related Links

Australian Government National Measurement Institute

Last reviewed:
25 Mar 2014