Preface

All consumers have the right to expect and demand good-quality and safe food at affordable prices. This right was recognized by the participants at the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture, held in the United States (US) in 1943, which laid the foundation for the creation of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Because of this, food safety and consumer protection are topics of highest priority. In the same way, producing a food supply safe and of good quality is a prerequisite to successful domestic and international food trade, and a key to sustainable development of national agricultural resources. Chemical analysis is a vital component of every quality management system.

Determination of organic contaminants in food needs to continually refine and explore new technologies to enhance sensitivity, selectivity, separation, interpretation, and adaptability of methodology. Though a well-established field in many senses, new methods, instruments, and modifications are decisive to analytical chemists and instrumentalists who are challenged with the identification and quantitation of new and already recognized xenobiotics of health concern.

This book treats different aspects of the analysis of contaminants and residues in food, and highlights some current concerns facing this field. The content is initiated by an overview on food safety, the objectives and importance of determining contaminants and residues in food, and the problems and challenges associated to these analyses. This is followed by full details of relevant European and United States regulations. Topics, such as conventional chromatographic methods, accommodating clean up, and preparing substances for further instrumental analysis, are encompassed with new analytical techniques that have significantly been developed over the past few years, like solid phase microextraction, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, immu-noassays, and biosensors. A wide range of toxic contaminants and residues, from pesticides to mycotoxins or dioxins are examined. This book can be a practical resource that offers ideas on how to choose the most effective techniques for determining these compounds.

The book contains 22 chapters written by different experts in each field that cover the emerging topics in food contaminants and residue analysis, and it is organized into three sections: the first one covers the regulatory framework including validation and quality assurance of analytical methods, the second treats the latest developments in analytical techniques, and the third provides information about the determination of specific contaminants and residues in food.

Logically structured and with numerous examples Food Contaminants and Residue Analysis is a valuable tool for food analysis as a reference and trained guide. The book is addressed to serve as a general reference for post-graduate students, as well as a practical reference guide for a wide range of experts: biologists, biochemists, microbiologists, food chemists, toxicologists, chemists, agronomists, hygienists, and everybody who need to use the analytical techniques for evaluating food safety. Each chapter contains enough references to the literature to help as an effective resource for more detailed information.

Many people have collaborated in this project, directly or indirectly, and I would like to acknowledge my debts to them. Prof. Damia Barcelo for the trust put in me to develop this work and for his help and support through this time; the people from the editorial staff of Elsevier (Andrew Gent, Joan Annuels, Anne Russum) for their willingness to solve any problem related to the production of the book and their patience; and finally and foremost, the authors (the edition of this book would not have been possible without their cooperation) and the readership (you are the ones who will make the book an integral part of food contaminants and residue research). I hope the book lives up to the expectations.

Yolanda Pico

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