Senegal project improves food safety capability
- 28 September 2020 / News / 55 / ABI 1
The technical cooperation project is part of the food and environmental protection sub-program of the Joint FAO/IAEA Program of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
“Before our advanced analytical capabilities were established, we were severely hampered and had to send scientists carrying several food samples abroad to laboratories in countries such as Morocco and France to test for food hazards,” he said.
Veterinary medicines and pesticides are used in food production to control animal and plant diseases and pests. However, these residues and contaminants such as mycotoxins, biotoxins and toxic metals can pose a health risk to consumers. Testing checks products containing high levels of these substances are not in the food supply chain.
Through the IAEA technical cooperation program, equipment to identify these hazards, including a radio receptor assay and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometer, were delivered along with training on how to use them. The IAEA also provided lab information management systems and consumables.
The volume of food products analyzed for residues and contaminants has increased from 800 to 4,000 tons per year since 2017, according to the National Laboratory for Analysis and Control (LANAC).
Thanks to the project, LACOMEV was given responsibility for the national residue monitoring program for aquaculture products in 2017. Senegal’s fish product exports had an average of more than €300 million ($352 million) worth of annual earnings between 2016 and 2019, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy.
LACOMEV has also trained more than 100 scientists from 15 French-speaking African countries and currently hosts up to 10 fellows and scientists each month.
Another lab in the project, the Food Technology Institute (ITA), was approved to ISO 17025 by the French accreditation committee (COFRAC) for aflatoxin analysis.
Tunisia:Ministry of Agriculture, seven municipalities ink cooperation agreement to implement PACTE
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