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Report from IUPAC-Sponsored Symposium

1st International IUPAC Symposium on Trace Elements in Food, 9-11 October 2000, Warsaw, Poland

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This first Symposium on Trace Elements in Food was initiated by the IUPAC Commission on Food (VI.5) and organized by the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Warsaw University of Technology, the Polish Food Technologist’s Society, and the Institute of Agriculture and Food Biotechnology. The Symposium, whose Organizing Committee was chaired by Prof. Barbara Szteke, attracted 128 participants from 27 countries.

Organizing committee of the 1st International IUPAC Symposium on Trace Elements in Food, left to right: Prof. Maciej Jarosz, Warsaw University of Technology; Prod. Ewa Bulska, Warsaw University of Technology; Prof. Barbara Szteke, Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology; Dr. Renata Jedrzejczak, Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology; and Prod. Adam Hulanicki, Warsaw University.

The program featured 16 plenary and invited papers, which were supplemented by an additional 10 selected oral presentations. There were also 52 posters, with an accompanying small scientific manufacturers exhibition. The truly interdisciplinary nature of the symposium can be seen from the program, which covered sources and translocation of trace elements in the trophic chain; trace elements in food (occurrence and function); interaction of trace elements with other compounds (toxicological and nutritional aspects); trace element speciation in food and its implications for human health; advances in methods for analyzing trace elements in food matrices; and quality assurance and reference materials for the analysis of trace elements in food. Of particular note among the presentations were those that provided an insight into areas of future development, for example, tackling the question of how far we are today and where we are going with international legislation on trace elements as contaminants in food. The extent to which the uptake of Cu, Se, Zn, Ni, Mo, and Cr fulfils dietary needs was assessed with respect to the Austrian diet. The use of stable isotopes to determine bioavailability of trace elements was assessed, as was speciation of trace elements in terms of what we presently know and what we need to know for the future. Finally, the important area of measurement in food was discussed from a metrology viewpoint, as was the question of traceability in food measurements. The proceedings of the symposium, edited by Prof. Szteke and including the oral contributions, will be published before the end of 2001 as a Special Issue of Food Additives and Contaminants.

The Commission on Food (VI.5) will be disbanded by the time of the next symposium, owing to the upcoming restructuring of IUPAC. It is hoped, however, that the success of this first symposium will lead to a second symposium, which probably will be hosted by the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) in Geel, Belgium in 2003.

Prof. John Gilbert
Chairman, IUPAC Commission on Food (VI.5)
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food
Central Science Laboratory
Sand Hutton, York, England, UK

> Published in Chem. Int. 23(3), 2001

Page last modified 30 April 2001.
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