The GW Chemistry Department Presents: Analysis of Chemical Contaminants in Food Safety Programs

By Yelena Sapozhnikova, PhD, Research Chemist, Agricultural Research Service, Department of Agriculture

Dr. Yelena Sapozhnikova, Research Chemist USDA
Yelena Sapozhnikova, PhD, Research Chemist, USDA

In this presentation, advances and challenges in the analysis of chemical contaminants in food safety programs will be discussed. Fast, efficient and high-throughput analytical techniques are needed to conduct testing for hundreds of contaminants in diverse food samples to comply with international food trade regulations and to protect human health. Many chemical contaminants—pesticides, their metabolites, veterinary drugs, dioxins, metals, etc.—have been monitored in foods by regulatory agencies for decades. However, other previously non-monitored chemicals (for example, flame retardants, plasticizers, perfluorochemicals, etc.) are being recognized as potential food contaminants, and need to be included in the updated monitoring programs. Information on their occurrence and levels in foods is critical to conduct risk assessment and develop risk management strategies to protect public health.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Yelena Sapozhnikova is a Research Chemist at the Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Wyndmoor, PA. Her research focuses on development and evaluation of new, advantageous analytical methods for organic contaminants, including pesticides, veterinary drugs, environmental and emerging contaminants, in foods. She conducts research projects on sample processing and preparation, analytical separations by gas or liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry detection, data processing and method validation for diverse chemical contaminants in foods to improve their analysis and, ultimately, protect human health.

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