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Should the AOAC Use-Dilution Method Be Continued for Regulatory Purposes?

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Despite its very poor reproducibility, AOAC INTERNATIONAL's use-dilution method (UDM) for bactericidal activity (AOAC Methods 964.02, 955.14, and 955.15) has been required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1953 for regulatory purposes, while methods with better reproducibility have been adopted in Canada and Australia. This study reviews UDM from a statistical perspective. Additionally, the test's expected results were compared to those obtained from actual evaluation of several formulations. Significant gaps have been identified in the reproducibility of the test data as predicted by statistical analysis and those presented to the EPA for product registration. UDM's poor reproducibility, along with its qualitative nature, requires the concentration of the active ingredient to be high enough to ensure all or most carriers to be free of any viable organisms. This is not in accord with the current trends towards sustainability, human safety, and environmental protection. It is recommended that the use of the method for regulatory purposes be phased out as soon as possible, and methods with better design and reproducibility be adopted instead.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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