HRIC provides information about the latest developments in the areas of foodstuffs. Our experts report regularly about innovations in analytical techniques, the latest trends and special items from the varied and diverse world of the laboratory.


7th European Food Safety & Standards Conference

Participation in the 7th European Food Safety & Standards Conference to be held in Athens on 13 and 14 November. Participation concerns research conducted at HRIC laboratories on the development and validation of a method for the determination of inorganic arsenic in rice and rice flour using the ICP-MS technique.

Determination of inorganic arsenic in rice flour by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)


Arsenic constitutes one of the most toxic trace elements found in the environment both as organic and inorganic forms. The total inorganic As (inAs) is the sum of As(III) and As(V), which are considered carcinogenic. Besides being carcinogen, it also causes a wide range of adverse health effects such as skin lesions, abnormal glucose metabolism, cardiovascular diseases etc. However, the susceptibility to the toxic effects differs considerably between individuals and populations depending on factors such as age, gender and nutritional habits. The main source of human exposure to inAs is via the food chain. Among agricultural products, rice as a bio-accumulative plant and staple food for half the world’s population, contributes significantly to inAs human intake. Despite its high toxicity, regulatory limits of inAs in foodstuffs have been established recently by regulation EU 2015/1006. Specifically, maximum levels of inAs for non-parboiled milled rice and parboiled, husked rice must be 0.20 and 0.25 mg/kg, respectively. Significantly lower limits have also been set for commodities such as rice-based products and food destined for the vulnerable portion of consumers, like infants and young children (0.30 and 0.10 mg/kg, respectively). Consequently, the selective determination of inAs is nowadays considered a challenge for food analysts. The present work describes the development of a method for determination of inAs in rice flour by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). New optimized preparation procedures are applied avoiding microwave assisted digestion step. The conjunction of HPLC by ICP-MS (most common analytical technique internationally applied) makes the analysis simple and rapid. Accuracy and trueness were tested by measuring certified reference materials. It is a well established in-house developed method under ISO 17025 requirements.


8th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis

Participation in the 8th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis to be held in Prague from 7 to 10 November. Participation concerns research conducted in HRIC laboratories on the development and validation of a method for the determination of fat-soluble vitamins in infant milk using HPLC-DAD.

Rapid and simple determination of fat-soluble vitamins in various types of infant formulas by HPLC-DAD


The aim of this study was the development of a fast, accurate, low cost and eco-friendly method for routine analysis of fat soluble vitamins A and E in cereal and milk based infant formulas (IF). Two main pretreatment methods were hyphanated to High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) – diode array detector (DAD): (1) a generic method for  qualitative and quantitative analysis of all samples and (2) a simple screening method  for detecting the form of vitamins initially added into the IF (without saponification) to check each IF’s label claim. Parameters such as use of a-amylase, antioxidants (L-ascorbic acid and butylated hydroxyl-toluene (BHT)), sampling, time of saponification, number and time of extractions, reconstitution volume were studied and optimized. Regarding validation, trueness, linearity and repeatability were estimated, with %RSD of 1.8 % for vitamin A and 3.1% for vitamin E, respectively. Trueness was tested by both the standard addition method and by certified reference material (CRM, NIST 1849a) analysis.



F. Liu, H. Majeed, J. Antoniou, Y. Li, Y. Ma, W. Yokoyama, J. Ma, F. Zhong. pH and Temperature Stability of (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate –Cyclodextrin Inclusion Complex-Loaded Chitosan Nanoparticles. Carbohydrate Polymers, 2016.
F. Liu, J. Antoniou, Y. Li, H. Majeed, R. Liang, Y. Ma, J. Ma, F. Zhong. Chitosan/sulfobutylether-β-cyclodextrin nanoparticles as a potential approach for tea polyphenol encapsulation. Food Hydrocolloids, 2016.
H. Majeed, J. Antoniou, J. Hategekimana, H. R. Sharif, J. Haider, F. Liu, B. Ali, L. Rong, J. Ma, F. Zhong. Influence of carrier oil type, particle size on in vitro lipid digestion and eugenol release in emulsion and nanoemulsions. Food Hydrocolloids, 2016.
V. G. Samaras, T. Wenzl (2016) Report on the Inter-laboratory comparison organised by the European Union Reference laboratory for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. JRC Technical Report, European Commission.
V. G. Samaras, T. Wenzl (2016) Isochronous stability of MCPD- and glycidyl fatty acid esters (Submitted for publication).
V. G. Samaras, T. Wenzl, Anupam Giri, Z. Zelinkova, L.Karasek, G. Buttinger (2015).Analytical method development for the trace determination of the emerging process contaminants 3-MCPD, 2-MCPD and glycidyl fatty acid esters in various food matrices. Journal of Chromatography A,
F. Liu, J. Antoniou, Y. Li, J. Yi, W. Yokoyama, J. Ma, F. Zhong. Preparation of gelatin gilms incorporated with tea polyphenol-nanoparticles for enhancing controlled release antioxidant and physical properties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2015.
J. Antoniou, F. Liu, H. Majeed, H. J. Qazi, F. Zhong, Physicochemical and thermomechanical characterization of tara gum edible films: Effect of polyols as plasticizers, Carbohydrate Polymers, 111(0), 359-365, 2014.
J. Antoniou, F. Liu, H. Majeed, J. Qi, W. Yokoyama, F. Zhong, Physicochemical and morphological properties of size-controlled chitosan-tripolyphosphate nanoparticles, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 465(0), 137-146, 2014.
J. Antoniou, F. Liu, H. Majeed, F. Zhong, Characterization of tara gum edible films incorporated with bulk chitosan and chitosan nanoparticles: a comparative study. Food Hydrocolloids, 44(0), 309-319, 2014.
F. Liu, J. Antoniou, F. Zhong. Effect of sodium acetate and drying temperature on thermomechanical and physicochemical properties of gelatin films. Food Hydrocolloids, 45(0), 140-149, 2014.
H. Liu, R. Liang, J. Antoniou, F. Liu, C. F. Shoemaker, Y. Li, F. Zhong. The effect of high moisture heat-acid treatment on the structure and digestion property of normal maize starch, Food Chemistry, 159, 222-229, 2014.
H. Majeed, J. Antoniou, C. F. Shoemaker, F. Zhong. Action mechanism of small and large molecule surfactant-based clove oil nanoemulsions against food-borne pathogens and real-time detection of their subpopulations, Archives of Microbiology, 197(1), 35-45, 2014.
H. J. Qazi, H. Majeed, W. Safdar, J. Antoniou and F. Zhong. A Novel approach for microencapsulation of nanoemulsions to overcome the oxidation of bioactives in aqueous phase, Advance journal of Food science and technology; 2014.
H. Majeed, J. Antoniou, F. Zhong. Apoptotic effects of eugenol-loaded nanoemulsions in human colon and liver cancer cell lines, Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP, 15(21), 9159, 2014.
V. G. Samaras, A.S. Stasinakis, N.S. Thomaidis, D. Mamais, T.D. Lekkas (2014). Fate of selected emerging pollutants during mesophilic, thermophilic and temperature co-phased anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. Bioresource Technology 162, 365-372.
C. Noutsopoulos, D. Mamais, V. G. Samaras (2014). The role of activated carbon and disinfection on the removal of endocrine disrupting chemicals and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs from wastewater. Environmental Technology (United Kingdom) 35(6), 698-708.
A.S. Stasinakis, N.S. Thomaidis, O. Arvaniti, A. Asimakopoulos, V. G. Samaras, A. Ajibola D. Mamais, T.D. Lekkas (2013). Contribution of primary and secondary treatment on the removal of benzothiazoles, benzotriazoles, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals and perfluorinated compounds in a sewage treatment plant. Science of the Total Environment 463-464, 1067-1075.
C. Noutsopoulos, D. Mamais, V. G. Samaras, T. Bouras, K. Antoniou (2013). Effect of wastewater chlorination on endocrine disruptor removal. Water Science and Technology 67(7), 1551-1556.
Giatrakou, V., Savvaidis, I.N., (2012). Bioactive Packaging Technologies with Chitosan as a Natural Preservative Agent for Extended Shelf-Life Food Products: In: Bioactive packaging technologies with chitosan as a natural preservative agent for extended shelf-life food products. pp  689-734 CRC Press , eBook ISBN Q978-1-4398-0045-4
Petrou S., Tsiraki M., Giatrakou V., Savvaidis I.N. (2012. Chitosan dipping or oregano oil treatments, singly or combined on modified atmosphere packaged chicken breast meat. International journal of Food Microbiology 156(3):264-71.
V. G. Samaras, A.S. Stasinakis, D. Mamais, N.S. Thomaidis, T.D. Lekkas (2012). Fate of selected pharmaceuticals and synthetic endocrine disrupting compounds during wastewater treatment and sludge anaerobic digestion. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 244-245, 259-267.
A.S. Stasinakis, S. Mermigka, V. G. Samaras, E.Farmaki, N.S.Thomaidis (2012). Occurrence of endocrine disrupters and selected pharmaceuticals in Aisonas River (Greece) and environmental risk assessment using hazard iIndexes. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 19, 1574-1583.
A.S. Stasinakis, V. G. Samaras, A. Mazioti, M.Aloupi (2012). Literature Review on the fate of emerging contaminants during sludge anaerobic digestion. Technical report. University of the Aegean.
Ntzimani A., Giatrakou V., Savvaidis I.N. (2011). Combined natural antimicrobial treatments on a ready-to-eat poultry product stored at 4 and 8°C Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 11, 187–196. 
V. G. Samaras, N.S. Thomaidis, A.S. Stasinakis, T.D. Lekkas (2011). An analytical method for the simultaneous trace determination of acidic pharmaceutical and phenolic endocrine disrupting chemicals in wastewater and sewage sludge by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry 399, 2549-2561.
Giatrakou V., Ntzimani A., Savvaidis I. (2010). Combined Chitosan-Thyme treatments with modified Atmosphere Packaging on a ready-to-Cook Poultry Product. Journal of Food Protection 73, 663-669.
Giatrakou V., Ntzimani A., Savvaidis I. (2010). Effect of Chitosan and Thyme oil on a ready to cook chicken product. Food Microbiology 27, 132-136.
Ntzimani A., Giatrakou V., Savvaidis I. (2010).Combined natural antimicrobial treatments (EDTA, lysozyme, rosemary and oregano oil), on semi cooked coated chicken meat stored in vacuum packages at 4 oC. Microbiological and sensory evaluation. Innovative Food Science and emerging Technologies 11, 187-196.
L. Frangos, N. Pyrgotou, V. Giatrakou, A. Ntzimani, I.N. Savvaidis,  (2010). Combined effects of salting, oregano oil and vacuum-packaging on the shelf-life of refrigerated trout fillets. Food Microbiology.
Pyrgotou, N, Giatrakou V., Ntzimani, Savvaidis I.N. (2010). Quality Assessment of Salted, Modified Atmosphere Packaged Rainbow Trout under Treatment with Oregano Essential Oil. Food Science
V. G. Samaras, N.S. Thomaidis, A.S. Stasinakis, G. Gatidou, T.D. Lekkas (2010). Determination of selected non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in wastewater by gas chromatography mass-spectrometry. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 90, 219-229.
‘‘Development of a Fully Automated Flow Injection Analyzer Implementing Bioluminescent Biosensors for Water Toxicity Assessment’’. Komaitis E.; Vasiliou, E.; Kremmydas, G.; Georgakopoulos D.G.; Georgiou C. Sensors, 2010, 10, 7089-7098. 
‘‘Selenium Affects the Expression of Gpx4 and Catalase in the Liver of Chicken’’. Zoidis E.; Pappas A. C.; Georgiou C. A.; Komaitis E.; Feggeros K. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 2010, 155B, 294-300.
Kostaki, Giatrakou V., Savvaidis I., Kontominas M. (2009). Combined effect of MAP and thyme essential oil on the microbiological, chemical and sensory attributes of organically aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) fillets. Food Microbiol. 2009 Aug;26(5):475-82. doi: 10.1016/
Kykkidou, S. Giatrakou, V./ Papavergou, A./ Kontominas, M. G./ Savvaidis, I. N. .(2009).Effect of thyme essential oil and packaging treatments on fresh Mediterranean swordfish fillets during storage at 4 degrees C. Food chemistry
Giatrakou, Kykkidou S., Papavergou, Savvaidis, Kontominas (2008). Potential of Oregano Essential Oil and MAP to Extend the Shelf Life of Fresh Swordfish: A Comparative Study with Ice Storage
Giatrakou V., Ntzimani, Sosa Mejia, Zwietering, Savvaidis I.N. (Growth of Bacillus spp. in “Souvlaki” – a traditional Greek ready to eat meal – and in freshly cooked coated chicken fillets, stored in air and under refrigeration. Programme and Abstract Book, The 21st International ICFMH Symposium, Evolving Microbial Food Quality and Safety, 1 – 4 September, 2004, Aberdeen, Scotland. – Aberdeen : IUMS – ICFMH – p. 441 – 441.