Seminar on digitalisation of the laboratory - benefits and pitfalls

NMKL arranges a course on digitalisation of the laboratory in Sigtuna, Sweden, on 29 August 2018. The language is English.

Digitalisation provides opportunities for increased quality assurance and smoother data management. However, the process of digitalisation is complicated and systems that do not match expectations are not uncommon. At the seminar, some marketable systems are presented by company representatives. As development progresses rapidly, visions on near-future systems will also be presented.

In the afternoon, representatives from different laboratories will tell about their experiences with digitalising their own lab - what went well and what could have been better? We will also get some tips on what to consider and how to get started. Which are the lowest hanging fruits?

This seminar addresses you who work with improvement of the laboratory, both from a quality assurance and an efficiency perspective.

To see the programme and register for the seminar (deadline:15 June) click here.

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NordVal International's technical committees

NordVal International receives many applications and, consequently, regularly seeks members to its technical committee. If you are interested in contributing to its work, ref. below-mentioned description of functions, please contact the NMKL secretariat. To see description of functions please click here

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Updated procedure on quality control of microbiological culture media

A new version of NMKL procedure No. 10, "Quality control of microbiological culture media", is available in English; it has been updated with several clarifications. An updated Scandinavian version is on its way.

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Updated method on aerobic or anaerobic microorganisms or bacterial spores. Enumeration on blood agar.

New version of NMKL method 189: "Aerobic or anaerobic microorganisms or bacterial spores. Enumeration on blood agar." is available.

This method describes a procedure for monitoring bacteria and/or their spores in the production process and in control of all kinds of food, feed or water. It is a useful tool for determining the heat treatment needed in a production process or the shelf-life of a product. It can also be used as a supplementary analysis when investigating causes of suspected food or waterborne infections or poisoning. This method does not replace Aerobic Plate Count (NMKL No. 86), but it may be used as a supplement. For example, surface inoculation on blood agar may give valuable information regarding the colony morphology and haemolytic activity of the colonies present in the sample.

To this updated edition of NMKL method No. 189 the following changes have been introduced:

  • The chapter “introduction” has been added
  • The incubation time when determining spores has been changed from 8 days to 3 days with a possibility to prolong the incubation up to 6 days, when necessary
  • References have been updated

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UPDATED METHOD ON DETECTION OF SHIGELLA SPP. WITH REAL-TIME PCR IN FOOD

An updated version of method No. 174, "Shigella spp. and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC). Detection with real-time PCR in food" is available. The method has changed from conventional PCR to real-time PCR for the detection of Shigella spp. The real-time PCR has an internal amplification control (IAC) included in the analysis.

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Course in verification of microbiological methods

NMKL is arranging a course on verification of microbiological methods (NMKL Procedure 32 from 2017) at the Veterinary Institute, Oslo, on 5 June 2018. The language is Norwegian (PP presentation in English).

To see the programme click here.

If you wish to sign up for this course or have questions in this regard please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5 April 2018.

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New NordVal International certificates

NordVal International Certificate 041 "Salmonella detection method by real-time PCR" from Eurofins has been renewed.
The method describes a shortened pre-enrichment in buffered peptone water followed by DNA extraction and subsequent real-time PCR analysis. The Salmonella detection method using DNA extraction by boiling or King Fisher is applicable for raw meat and swabs from cattle and pig carcasses. The Salmonella detection method using DNA extraction by King Fisher is also applicable for poultry faeces sock swabs. See the certificate here.

 

New NordVal Certificate 048 issued for LactoSens® 0.01%. DirectSens® has developed a biosensor for the determination of residual lactose in lactose-free milk products. Using a specific enzyme and an electrochemical measurement, the lactose concentration is detected using the LactoSens® Reader (LR01) with sensors from the LactoSens® Test Kit (LK0225). Further information is given in the certificate. A validation of LactoSens has been performed according to the NordVal Validation Protocol 2. The performance of the LactoSens® 0.01% assay was compared against the reference method ISO 22662 IDF 198 Milk and milk products – Determination of lactose content by HPLC. The results obtained are satisfactory and document that there is no statistical difference in the performances between the methods for lactose in milk (and milk products) for levels at or above 0.01%. LactoSens is validated for cow/bovine milk. See the certificate here.

 

NordVal International Certificate 038 "iQ-Check® Salmonella II kit" from Bio-Rad has been renewed. NordVal International has recalculated the data for the method according to ISO 16140-2:2016 and concludes that the method for detection of Salmonella  spp. on a broad range of foods provides results equivalent to the results from the reference method. See the certificate here.

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New method on quality control test - Sensory evaluation of marine oils

NMKL method No. 201 describes a sensory quality test of marine oils as an umbrella term for oils extracted from fish, shellfish or marine mammals that are rich in healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. The method is general and requires that the users of the method set up their own sensory product specifications for the oils they will test or use reference oil.

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Updated procedure on sensory analysis of fish and shellfish

A new version of NMKL procedure No. 21, "Guide for sensory analysis of fish and shellfish", is available; list of reference has been updated. The procedure is available in both English and Finnish.

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Verification of microbiological methods

Before an analytical method is taken into use, e.g. for routine testing, a laboratory must verify that it is capable of performing the analytical method. This includes evaluation of relevant performance characteristics to ensure that the method is fit for purpose within the laboratory.

NMKL procedure No. 32 provides guidelines on how

  • a laboratory may verify that it is capable of performing an analytical method which has previously been externally validated
  • a laboratory can evaluate the possibility of analysing additional matrices not covered by the primary validation, or include new matrices in the scope of an already verified method
  • a laboratory should plan a verification and elaborate a verification report

The procedure is applicable to the verification of methods already validated properly in an interlaboratory study, and also to well-recognised standardised methods without validation and specified performance characteristics.

The procedure also describes how measurement uncertainty could be established while verifying the method, as the data obtained in the verification can be used in the evaluation thereof.

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