The International Stevia Council (ISC) announced the launch of the second year of the independent Proficiency Testing Program (PTP) for stevia products.
“The PTP ensures that consistent analytical methods and reference standards are used throughout the industry in measuring steviol glycoside content and is designed to help companies determine the quality of their stevia products.” Carl Horn af Rantzien, President of the Council said, “Therefore participation to the PTP is essential in enhancing analytical methods accuracy and as a direct consequence the quality and purity of stevia products.”
The PTP allows participants to benchmark the performance of their methods, analytical standards and analysts’ competency in a statistically relevant, blind testing scheme managed in accordance with international quality standards. The PTP sets benchmark standards for analytical method competency, allowing a participant to see where its methods and analyst competency stands in relation to others in the industry.
“The first year of PTP has been successful in raising awareness of the challenges faced when analyzing steviol glycosides, in identifying where the performance is “good” throughout all participants as well as where the difficulties in analysis lie.” Carl Horn af Rantzien said. “The launch of the second year of PTP follows a detailed review of issues and gaps detected during the first year and proposes several improvements that will lead to even more accurate results and a better performing PTP scheme.16 companies/laboratories and food safety authorities have participated in the first year of tests. The PTP has been broadly welcomed within the industry with all ISC members and many non-members participating. The results of the first year of the PTP show a high level of quality and professionalism in the analysis of the quality of stevia products.”
The PTP is a vital tool for entities interested in maximizing the accuracy of their steviol glycosides analyses. Typical participants are stevia extract producers, food and drink companies that use stevia extracts to formulate their products, as well as universities and test laboratories that analyze stevia extracts. For example, if a company intends to sell stevia extracts, it might desire to test the material prior to sale and therefore participate at this program. The company might ask its supplier(s) or producer(s) of stevia extracts to participate at this Program or might ask an outside laboratory - that the company may hire to confirm steviol glycoside content in the material - to participate at the Program.