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Open Access QC of Sampling Processes—A First Overview: From Field to Test Portion

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Quality control (QC) is a systematic approach for estimating and minimizing significant error contributions to the measurement uncertainty from the full sampling and analysis process. Many types of QC measures can be implemented; the three dealt with here are primary sampling reproducibility, sample processing reproducibility, and contamination. Sampling processes can be subject to QC by applying a replication experiment, used either from the top by replication of the entire sampling/preparation/analysis process, or in a hierarchical fashion successively at each subsequent sampling stage. The analytical repeatability is necessarily always included in either alternative. The replication experiment results in a quality index, the Relative Sampling Variability, which is used to assess the total error associated with the full field-to-analysis pathway. Contamination can occur at essentially all locations in the sampling regimen in the food/feed realm, affecting sample containers, sampling tools, sample processing equipment, environmental conditions, and sampling personnel. QC events to determine contamination should always be included where appropriate, but is of most concern for low concentration and/or volatile analytes. It is also of key importance in the development of new sampling protocols or carried-over protocols intended for use on new types of materials/lots than the ones for which they were originally developed. We here establish a first practical framework for QC as applied to the sampling context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark;

Publication date: 01 March 2015

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 The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better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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