All for a better wine
Mark Sykes, scientific advisor to proficiency testing, Fapas, discusses the importance of testing and reviewing laboratory practices in order to provide a consistent and high-quality end product.
The food and drink industry has numerous examples where testing laboratories have produced varying results on the same sample. This can be caused by different testing methods, the quality of the equipment, the process or the working practices of an individual. This occurs even between different laboratories that belong to the same parent organisation.
In one instance a sample of wine was being transported and was tested by both the exporting laboratory and import laboratory – both of which produced different results. In disputes of data like this, whose results do you trust to provide valid data? This example also reinforced the need for an internationally recognised standard for tests, which is where proficiency testing can provide a solution, helping to generate confidence in the quality of testing procedures within laboratories.
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