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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91 million people in
Africa suffer from health problems related to food, causing the death of
137,000 people on the continent each year.
Food safety is a critical public health concern and an important issue in
agriculture and economic development. Many agro-industries and food
companies present in Africa rely on available local raw materials for
production. To ensure a reliable supply of raw materials, they must have
access to quality raw materials at a competitive price to meet the growing
demand of African consumers who are increasingly concerned about food
quality and safety. In situations where these raw materials are not readily
available, these companies are compelled to import these raw materials.
Food quality and safety of food on the content is therefore the
prerequisite for Africa's food self-sufficiency. In the implementation of a
viable food security system in Africa, scientific methods of analysis of
manufactured products and agricultural raw materials play a fundamental
To discuss this important issue, the Nestle Research and Development Center
for Africa, Abidjan hosted participants of a workshop on "The Use of Food
Analysis Methods for Regulatory Purposes", from the 25 and 26 April 2018.
This high-level meeting was organised by the Risk Analysis and Food
Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA) of Laval University, Quebec City,
Canada, in collaboration with the Sub-Saharan Africa section of the
international reference organization on the selection and validation of
food analysis methods "Association of Official Analytical Communities"
(AOAC INTERNATIONAL). It brought together experts, scientists and
representatives of relevant authorities and partner institutions, involved
in food testing for regulatory purposes, in West Africa, particularly in
Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.
This workshop, funded by the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign
Agricultural Service (USDA / FAS) and the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), is part of a larger program supported by
the United States to strengthen food safety regulatory policies in West
Africa. The objective is to promote best practices for food regulatory
policies, based on the recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
and its parent organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the
United Nations Agriculture and Food (FAO).
"It is very common for food industry to be disrupted by disputes over
analytical results obtained through food control processes. It is essential
that the methods of food analysis used in a regulatory framework are be
carefully selected, taking into account their suitability for the
analytical objectives and obeying validation criteria according to
internationally recognized guidelines. This is the only way reliable
analytical results can be achieved, leading to regulatory decisions in line
with international standards, "said Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Professor of Risk
Analysis and Regulatory Policies. Laval University.
"The program of this workshop was designed to allow participants to discuss
priorities for harmonizing food analysis practices in West Africa. It
focused on important food regional and global safety issues for the region,
such as mycotoxin analysis "added Dr Owen Fraser, President of the
Sub-Saharan Africa Section of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, Co-Chair of the Workshop
and Senior Specialist in Analytical Methods at the Food and Analytical
Health Institute of the Nestlé Research Center.
For more information:
Dr. Owen Fraser, Chair, Sub-Saharan Africa Section of AOAC International,
Senior Analysis Methods Specialist, Food Safety and Analytical Sciences
Prof. Dr. Samuel Godefroy, Professor of Risk Analysis and Regulatory
Policies, PARERA, Laval University, Quebec, QC. Canada: