MET-A-FOR ITN ESRs Anna Holderbaum and Emiliano Ventura with fellow SARAF course participants in Nantes

MET-A-FOR ESRs Emiliano Ventura and Anna Holderbaum attended the School for Advanced Residue Analysis in Food (SARAF) coordinated by LABERCA at the National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering (ONIRIS) in Nantes (France) from 21st to 26th September 2015. LABERCA is a word-leading research institution in the field of advanced analytical chemistry dedicated to food safety and a national reference laboratory for dioxins, PCBs, PAH, melamine as well as growth promoters in cattle. Emiliano (Italy), Anna (Austria) and Alexis Ripoche (France) have joined IGFS during 2015 as ESRs on the newly funded H2020 Industry Training Network MET-A-FOR project (grant agreement nº [605411]). This European Industry Doctorate (EID) programme is co-ordinated by IGFS and in conjunction with project partner Irish Diagnostic Laboratory Services (Ireland) will focus on the development and practical advancement of methods for the forensic detection of drugs of abuse based on new concepts in metabolomics in performance and food producing animals. Over the course of the four year MET-A-FOR project, Anna will profile and identify metabolites of emerging designer drugs of abuse, Emiliano will focus on method validation of targeted detection procedures, and Alexis will develop metabolomic/lipidomic profiling techniques to monitor in vivo responses to new anabolic agents. Therefore, this year’s SARAF course which focused specifically on hyphenated gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques was particularly beneficial. Hands-on practical training in various aspects of chemical food safety analysis utilising basic and advanced GC-MS and LC-MS instrumentation was provided by internationally recognised experts from across academia, reference laboratories and industry. Valuable knowledge with regards to EU regulations, identification and quantification of residues and contaminants in food, method validation and data analysis was also gained enhancing the on-going research activities of IGFS Marie Skłodowska-Curie ESRs.