Republic of Cyprus
State General Laboratory

Laboratories



Food Molecular Biology and Immunology (Lab 21)



Laboratories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

SCOPE

The aim of the laboratory is the official control and monitoring of foodstuffs regarding labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), allergens and meat fraud, for safety evaluation, compliance with legislation, protection of the consumer and fair trade to promote good manufacturing practices in the food industry.

ACTIVITIES

1. National Control Programs

The laboratory, in collaboration with the Medical and Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health, designs and implements national control programs for the detection of GMOs allergens and meat fraud in food.

The design of the monitoring program is based on RASSF notifications (rapid alert system for food and feed), high consumption food or food consumed by vulnerable population group, recent deviations from the legislation, imports etc.

Food and raw materials consisting of or containing soya, maize or rice are analysed for the detection of GMOs according to Regulation 1829/2003/EC.


The laboratory also examines foodstuffs, which do not state the presence of allergens mentioned on their label, according to the regulation 2000/13/EC and its relevant amendments.

Since 2014, the laboratory examines foodstuff for meat fraud.


2. Participation in Proficiency testing schemes

The laboratory participates in various proficiency tests for both GMOs and allergens, including those carried out by the European Union Community Reference Laboratory (EURL-GMO).

3. Development and validation of new analytical methods

The laboratory continuously develops new protocols for the detection and quantification of new genetic modifications, either approved or non-approved from the European Safety Authority. In addition, it develops methods for the detection and quantification of allergens in food using Elisa and Real Time PCR.

Recently, the laboratory has developed a method for the detection of horse meat in food according to Commission Recommendation 2013/99/ΕU and other molecular methods for the detection of various types of meat.


4. Publications

The laboratory has published triptychs entitled “Allergens-The hidden thread” and “Genetically Modified Organisms in food-You have the right to choose."


RESEARCH

The laboratory, within its activities, is also involved in applied research that includes:

1. Annual research programs funded by the Ministry of Health:

  • Comparison of Elisa and Real Time PCR methods for the detection of allergens in food (2010)
  • Detection and quantification of genetically modified Roundup Ready Soya in imported and local production food (2011)
  • Research for the detection/quantification of nuts in food by Real Time PCR method (2012)
  • Control of gluten in food to protect people with celiac disease (2013)

2. Participation in research programs funded by the Research Promotion Foundation:

  • Development of molecular biology techniques for identifying the allergenic protein of sesame in food (2007)
  • Identification of the variety of wine and grape origin using DNA methodology (2012)
  • Development of molecular biology techniques for the detection of allergens in food (2012)


INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS

The laboratory is the National Reference Laboratory for GMOs and member of the European Network GMO Laboratories (ENGL) and participates in the meetings organized by the above.




The scope of accreditation of the Laboratory according to CYS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 can be found on the web page CYS-CYSAB (Accredited Bodies, Laboratories of the State General Laboratory of Cyprus).



Accredited according to CYS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005. The accredited methods of the laboratory as well as the fields of application can be found on the web page CYS-CYSAB (Accredited Bodies, Laboratories of the State General Laboratory of Cyprus).





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