Lecithin certification scheme

Cert ID Europe, an authority on non-GM traceability certification, has launched the first IP certification programme featuring PCR testing protocols to detect cross-contamination of soy in sunflower lecithin destined for food production, and in particular, chocolate, confectionery and bakery.

The new programme is designed to support suppliers of sunflower lecithin, an increasingly popular alternative to soy lecithin, the most widely used emulsifier in the food industry, to provide additional transparency and assurances to meet industry expectations and of course the requirements of the new BRC version 7.

The first company to certify its sunflower lecithin under the new programme is Unilecithin, a full service supplier of lecithins and part of the Barentz Group. Unilecithin has had more than 500 tonnes of sunflower lecithin tested and certified under the new Cert ID IP scheme, which is now available to the European food industry.

Richard Werran, managing director of Cert ID Europe, says: “In the last two years there has been a strong industry trend, which is set to increase, to replace large volumes of soy lecithin with sunflower lecithin to avoid issues with GM and allergens. However, issues with cross contamination, co-mingling with soy with the lack of a validated and matrix optimised PCR test to verify the absence of soy in sunflower lecithin has proven challenging, until now”.

Cert ID Europe’s new programme specifies commodity testing using Genetic ID Europe’s new validated PCR test to detect the presence of soy in sunflower to a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.01 per cent. Unlike conventional, less accurate ELISA testing, the new test has been specifically developed to provide quantification in lecithin.

“Furthermore, this new PCR test, deployed within the context of a third party certification programme, adds the extra layer of assurance that food manufacturers now require to meet increasing regulatory, retailer and above all EU consumer expectations”, Richard concludes.

Shadab Siddiqui, commercial director at Unilecithin, says: “GM and allergens remain top of the agenda for food ingredients buyers and so sourcing lecithin that is assured ‘soy free’ eliminates many issues with regard to labelling and declarations. We are delighted to have secured the first IP certification scheme, backed by robust PCR testing specifically for sunflower lecithin from Cert ID, a company recognised for its expertise in non-GM. This is a major move forward and we are already in talks with some big names in confectionery and bakery about switching to sunflower lecithin, certified under the new scheme.”



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