The purpose of the reference material is the quality control of measurement methods for trace element mass fractions in fish.
The target parameters for certification were the mass fractions of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Hg, I, Mn, Pb, Se, and Zn. The desired mass fractions were those at natural levels that are similar to BCR-422 and below regulatory limits for food contaminants as specified in EC Regulation no. 466/2001 (Cd < 0.05 ìg/g, Hg < 0.5 ìg/g, Pb < 0.3 ìg/g "wet weight"). Values are to be traceable to the SI and expressed as dry mass fraction.
Fresh saithe fillets were purchased from a wholesaler in Belgium. The fish were caught in the European North-East Atlantic area (code FAO27) and were filleted by the wholesaler. Most fillets were in the mass range 0.7 – 1.2 kg. The filets were packed in plastic bags containing about 10 kg, on ice, in plastic boxes, and were transported to IRMM by refrigerated courier. The material was supplied in three batches of about 40 kg that were freeze-dried on three occasions, each 1 week apart. The raw material was stored at 4 °C until processing, which took place less than 24 h after arrival at IRMM on all occasions. On arrival at IRMM, the material was weighed and sub-samples were taken and frozen at -20 ºC for later contamination checks on processing.
keywords : Biological material, Animal tissue, Trace elements, Heavy metals, Foodstuff , fish/shellfish