ISEAC38, 2014 – Lausanne, Switzerland

The 38th International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry – ISEAC38

including a

Conference on Food Safety (food analytics and authenticity control) 

 June 17-20, 2014


Report ISEAC 38

The Symposium took place at the new SwissTech Convention Center, from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), inaugurated 3 months before.


The SwissTech Convention Center

The chairmen of the meeting were Dr. Luiz Felippe de Alencastro (Central Environmental Laboratory – EPFL) and Prof. Markus Fisher (Hamburg School of Food Science – University of Hamburg).

At this occasion, for the first time, IAEAC organised a joint meeting dealing with strategies for environmental and food analysis in its ISEAC series. And it was a successful meeting, near 300 scientists from all continents attending the event.

In the conference, the following areas were covered:

• Detection and identification of organic pollutants and related compounds
• Environmental sampling and sampling strategies; passive sampling
• In situ, sensors; biosensors
• Multi residues methods; references materials; method validation
• Organic and inorganic mass spectrometry
• Proteomics and metallomics-based studies;
• Speciation

Food Safety


  • Contaminants and residues
  • Authenticity
  • Food packaging materials

Methods & Technologies

  • Rapid testing strategies
  • Food profiling
  • Genomics-, proteomics-, metabolomics-, and element-based strategies (targeted and non-targeted spectrometry)
  • Biosensor technologies
  • Risk assessment

The programme was dense and included 14 Invited Lectures that introduced the different topics of each journeys presented by 41 oral talks.

With the wish to broaden the horizon and the attractiveness of the symposium to the general public, an open lecture was given by Dr. Steven Musser, Deputy Center Director for Scientific Operations, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food & Drug Administration (FDA, USA). His talk was entitled « Food Safety: Simple Goals ‐ Complicated Realities ».


One of the aims of this 38th edition was to open the discussion regarding Food safety. Food safety is not only a matter of health protection, it is affected by a complex network of many stakeholders, economic groups and individuals. The complexity of the food chain is becoming more and more interdisciplinary and global. How can we assure food safety by the interplay of authorities, industry and last but not least by institutions that are responsible for education and teaching all over the world? Do we need novel and innovative strategies to ensure safe food or to overcome food fraud? Are there demands for new analytical approaches to assure product identification and food traceability?

The International Think Tank on Food Safety was an event that brought together leading food safety experts from Europe and USA to approach and discuss food safety globally. This discussion provided the opportunity to learn about food safety along the whole food supply chain in a global context.

The discussion group was composed of stakeholders of different perspectives. Each member had its own field of vision. The authorities group addressed several utmost important key issues like approaches for new international accredited standards in food quality and safety assessment and guidelines for the whole food supply chain (from farm to fork). Also regulations for governmental import and export inspections or international accepted certification and risk assessment systems for foods seemed to be of high interest in this group. It was also discussed about the key tool to ensure the cross-border follow of information to rapidly react when risks to public health are detected in the food chain which is called RASFF – the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

Food fraud or food fakery, safe delivery lines (carriers, importers and retailers) and a safe food production (manufacturers) are core topics for the Food industry. These questions ask for dynamic in-house quality management mechanisms, highly developed risk management and backtracking systems.

For the service providers harmonized performance criteria for methods and their application in food for safety and quality analyses are required. New technologies (e.g. rapid methods, Omics-cascade) and their application for routine testing demands also for specialized curricula at the universities and also for programs dealing with the professional development.

The discussion was leaded by Prof. Nöhle the former chief executive officer of the Nordzucker AG. He has now his own interim- and crisis management firm dealing with fraud management, industrial quality management and the mediation between business partners and government authorities. Thus, Prof. Nöhle was a brilliant expert for the discussion about Food Safety in a global context.

The Think Tank has been recorded by a professional film crew and the processed movie will be shown on the IAEAC web site soon.

TT participants

Think Tank: Food Safety in a Global Market. From the left to the right: Michael Beer, Director Food Safety Division, Federal Office of Public Health (Switzerland); Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer, Director Hamburg School of Food Science, Chairman ISEAC38-Food (Germany), Steven Musser, Ph.D., FDA, Deputy Center Director for Scientific Operations, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA (USA), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Noehle, Anchorman (Germany); Elke Anklam, PhD, European Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre, Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (Belgium); Christian Hummert, Ph.D., Director AGRI and CTS Food, SGS Germany (Germany); Reiner Wittkowski, Ph.D, Prof., Vice President, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, BfR (Germany); Anthony Huggett, Head Corporate Quality Management, Nestlé (Switzerland); Silvio Raggini, Head Quality Management, COOP (Switzerland).

More than 145 posters covering topics in the field of environment and food safety were displayed during the symposium. And, the traditional Roland Frei Poster Awards were awarded to Prof. Dr. Hana Docekalova, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic (environmental section) and Mrs Nadine Feichtmeier, University of Ulm, Germany (food safety section).

Frei Award1

Prof. Dr. Hana Docekalova and Prof. Dr. José Broekaert, President of IAEAC

Frei Award2

Mrs Nadine Feichtmeier and Prof. Dr. José Broekaert, President of IAEAC

As usual, the General Assembly of the IAEAC took place during the meeting. Important topic regarding the status of the Association were discussed and decided.

A nice dinner during a cruise on the Lake Geneva, on board of an old ship, allows the participants to enjoyed the beautiful landscape of Lavaux vineyards (UNESCO heritage) and Chillon Castle.


Finally, Prof. Markus Fischer announced the 39th International Symposium on Environmental Analytical Chemistry including a Conference on Food Safety, which is going to be held at the University of Hamburg, Germany.