What is the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS)?
The CCMAS is one of the horizontal Codex Committees that addresses Methods of Analysis and Sampling across all food commodities.
This Committee has for a main role to consider, amend, if necessary, and endorse, as appropriate, methods of analysis and sampling proposed by Codex (Commodity) Committees, to specify Reference Methods of Analysis and Sampling appropriate to Codex Standards, to serve as a coordinating body for Codex with other international groups working in methods of analysis and sampling and quality assurance systems for laboratories.
CCMAS is attended by Codex member countries representatives, who represent their government and/or analytical control authorities. Observers are also in attendance and many consists of Standard Development organizations such as IDF, ISO, AOAC or USP.
What is the Codex Stan 234 and why is it important?
This Standard contains definitions, lists of methods of analysis, method performance criteria, descriptions of some methods and a list of methods of sampling. The methods of analysis and sampling contained in this Standard are the recommended ones to be used to assess compliance for a specific provision described in Codex commodity standards, and can be used for reference, in calibration of methods in use or introduced for routine examination and control purposes.
For example, it can be milkfat in butter. There is a provision on the Codex Standard for Butter (CXS 279) that specifies that butter must have a minimum milkfat content of 80% m/m.
The Codex Standard 234 therefore recommends ISO 17189 | IDF 194 – Butter, edible oil emulsions and spreadable fats – Determination of fat content (Reference Method):
Methods categorized as type I or type II are reference methods that are intended to be those used in case of a trade dispute.
How is IDF contributing to this work ?
IDF is regularly and actively participating to CCMAS work, in providing updates on references to IDF/ISO methods for milk and milk products in case of updates, or withdrawal.
In particular this year, with the list of methods for milk and milk products under review, IDF has reviewed a number of methods and proposed a number of editorial changes, or technical updates to the list under review. IDF actively participated to the WG and session on dairy package, and also engaged with delegations who brought up concerns or suggested updates during the meetings.
Outcome of the 2019 meeting and next steps
The CCMAS 2019 reached the following conclusions:
The methods for infant formula for nutrients recommended by CCNFSDU were endorsed and will forwarded to CAC for adoption.
Review of endorsed methods for dairy products
CCMAS confirmed most methods and made a number of deletions and revision. A list of methods non reviewed by the working group as well as several points for further clarification or discussion raised during the WG, will be further considered by an electronic Working Group (eWG) led by the US and New Zealand. The US lead has informed that he will surround himself with a few experts to prepare the review, including IDF, and others to prepare a document for review by the eWG.
The CCMAS is also working on the following topics, detailed outcome will be available on the Codex website:
- Completed: Codex Standard 234 – Recommended methods of analysis and sampling: addition of a preamble and revision of the structure.
For adoption at the CAC in July.
- Completed: Guidance on Endorsement. A CCMAS document that aims at consistency on how the Committee accepts and characterizes the methods.
- Revision of Guidelines on Sampling
- Revision of Guidelines on Measurement Uncertainty