Chemistry

It is often said that Iceland is one of the cleanest and purest country in the world. In general, Icelanders take this claim seriously and we do our best to keep our land and oceans clean. However, climate change and pollution demand that all nations improve their monitoring of all biological resources.

Our research aims to ensure food safety and quality through monitoring nutrients and pollutants. The research is conducted on the effects of desirable and undesirable compounds in food, feed and the environment. This capability is constantly improved by developing new analytical methods in order to meet statutory regulations, tackle emerging threats and maintain scientific excellence.

With highly skilled employees we investigate the chemical composition of food ingredients and final products as well as changes that occur during production and storage.

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    Our employees have extensive experience with inorganic trace elements (e.g. heavy metals such as mercury, led and cadmium) and persistent organic pollutants such as pesticides, PCB’s, and PAHs.

    We follow closely all developments concerning food safety on the international level, which includes following the occurrence of various food safety hazards, development of analytical methods, evaluating emerging risks and the likelihood of them spreading to Iceland. Additionally, provide the Icelandic authorities with information and consultation on necessary actions to tackle food safety hazards.

    Our work also supports international monitoring obligations, such as the monitoring of undesirable compounds in seafood products and contaminants in marine biota in Icelandic waters; a project carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of environment to fulfil OSPAR and AMAP requirements

    Current research includes:

    • Evaluating food and feed quality and safety during production and storage
    • Monitoring and screening for undesirable compounds in Icelandic food products and contaminants in marine biota
    • Providing Icelandic authorities, food industry, markets and consumers with independent scientific food safety data, suitable for risk assessment as well as supporting EU regulatory maximum levels of undesirable substances in food and feed
    • Developing robust analytical methods for quantification of both inorganic and lipophilic arsenic in seafood as well as for potent environmental pollutants such as PAHs and PCBs

    Our collaborations are extensive and diverse. We work with Icelandic and international authorities and policy makers to ensure food safety and to protect consumer interests in relation to food safety, while our research frequently involves collaborating with Universities and other research organisations throughout Iceland, Europe and the rest of the world.