ICUMSA (International Commission for Uniform Methods of Sugar Analysis) is a world-wide body which brings together the activities of the National Committees for Sugar Analysis in more than thirty member countries.

Work is carried out under various Subjects each headed by a Referee. 

ICUMSA is the only international organisation concerned solely with analytical methods for the sugar industry. In addition to use by that industry, ICUMSA methods are recognised by authorities such as the Codex Alimentarius  Commission, the OIML, the EU, and the US Food Chemicals Codex. 

Methods are recommended for Tentative (T) approval by ICUMSA in the first instance. Upon meeting all the  Commission's requirements, methods are accorded Official (O) status. Methods which are demonstrably useful and have found an established application, or which do not lend themselves to collaborative testing, are given an Accepted (A) status. Details of how the status of  Methods has been established may be obtained by reading the relevant Proceedings. 

ICUMSA introduces Official (Reference) Methods

ICUMSA has given six methods the status “Official (Reference).” The new status was created so that in situations where there are two or more methods with Official status for the same parameter and type, the two can be distinguished. The definition of the ICUMSA method statuses “Official”, “Tentative” and “Accepted” has not been changed. In introducing the status Official (Reference) ICUMSA follows similar recommendations from other International Standards Organisations.

The Official (Reference) status only applies to those sample types and determinations where there is an overlap of two Official methods. ICUMSA recommends that, in the case of a dispute, a method with Official (Reference) status should be used. For all other sample types, determinations, etc a method with Official status is recommended (as before) and, as always, ICUMSA recommends that the method used should be stated along side the determined result. 

During the last session in Berlin in 2010, ICUMSA re-classified the six Methods where overlap in the scope of Methods exist. The following Methods have received Official (Reference) Status:


The Braunschweig Method for the Polarisation of White Sugar by Polarimetry


The Determination of Reducing Sugars in Purified Sugar by the Knight and Allen EDTA Method


The Determination of Sulphite by the Rosaniline Colorimetric Method in White Sugar


The Determination of Total Reducing Sugars in Molasses and Refined Syrups after Hydrolysis by the Lane & Eynon Constant Volume Procedure


The Determination of Fructose, Glucose and Sucrose by Gas Chromatography (GC) in Cane Juices, Syrups and Molasses


The Determination of Sugar Solution Colour at pH 7.0 by the MOPS Buffer Method

Therefore the 2011 ICUMSA Methods Book Supplement contains methods with Official (Reference) status for the first time.