ICUMSA News n°27 – 1996

Message from the President

It is now two years since our session in Havana and this means it is only two years till the centenary session in Berlin. It is important that the Referees’ work programmes be underway now so that there is sufficient time for adequate discussion of collaborative test results, the wording of method changes and the ratification of new methods, before Referees produce their Reports towards the end of 1997. At this time, it seems to me appropriate that the industry and our members address two other matters.

The first is the question of whether the Commission needs a permanent Secretariat, as first proposed by the Canadian National Committee. A proposal submitted by Dr. Margaret Clarke of the Sugar Processing Research Institute Inc., New Orleans, after the Havana meeting was considered, but because arrangements for the 21st Session were already in place, it was decided to defer to the Berlin meeting detailed discussion of the Secretariat proposal. This latter proposal would involve a significant increase in membership subscriptions therefore I propose that the matter be brought forward and be subjected to a Postal Vote.

The second matter concerns the election of a new President. As foreshadowed in Havana, I believe that after three terms it will be time to install a new President with new ideas to maintain the vitality of the Commission. This is not to say that “old” Presidents get tired and lack vitality but with my own retirement not far off, it is now a good time to consider future arrangements for the management of ICUMSA. Therefore, after the proposed Postal Vote on the need, or otherwise, for a permanent Secretariat, I intend to ask the Chairman of the Nominations Committee, Prof. G. Mantovani, to write to Chairmen of National Committees seeking nominations for the next President.

As both of these matters are rather important, we welcome comments before proceeding and if it is thought appropriate these will be published in a future issue of this newsletter.

ICUMSA History – The First 100 Years

R.W. Plews and J.V. Dutton

ICUMSA Publications Committee

Since the Meeting in Havana in 1994, much discussion has taken place on the production of a book to commemorate the centenary of ICUMSA in 1997. We now propose a book comprising 14 chapters by invited authors as follows:

Chapter TopicAuthor(s)
1Pre-1897. The reasons for ICUMSAG Bruhns
2Herzfeld Presidency 1897–1912G Bruhns
3Bates Presidency 1932–1954(US Nat.Comm. nominee)
4de Whalley Presidency 1954–1962R W Plews et al.
5Dubourg Presidency 1962–1969P Devillers
6Carruthers Presidency 1969–1978J V Dutton et al.
7Reinefeld Presidency 1978–1986E Reinefeld & A Emmerich
8Player Presidency 1986–PresentM R Player
9Major Physical Method Developments: Polarisation, Refractometry, DensityA Emmerich
10Chemical, Microbiological & Other Physical Method DevelopmentsR F Madsen
11Marketing of Raw & Refined Sugars: The Role of Analytical MethodsMcCowage & someone from Czarnikow
12Honorary OfficersG Mantovani
13The People & Places of ICUMSA (including anecdotes)Various
14A Look into the FutureR W Plews

For each chapter authors will be asked to draft up to 15 pages of typescript and to submit their first rough drafts to us by 30 September 1996. These texts will be edited so that by the end of this year we hope to have the basis of the book.

One of us (RWP) will be the Editor and the other (JVD) will manage the project. The Editor will be writing to all authors shortly to say what he believes will be required of them. We expect the finished book to be hardback, of page size similar to ICUMSA Proceedings, to contain 120–150 pages of text and to be as liberally illustrated as possible. Thus, we would be grateful for any photographs of ICUMSA people and any photographs or drawings of analytical equipment.

In addition, we are looking for anecdotal material which anyone feels may be interesting. This would preferably be of a humorous or light-hearted nature and probably quite brief (100–150 words). Alternatively, we would consider anything of a historical or technical nature. Such items could be accompanied by a photograph where appropriate. We therefore appeal to members and non-members alike to look through their archives or to call to mind anything of interest and to contact us during the coming months. We extend our sincere thanks to those who have volunteered to help with this exercise, as well as to those who now may be able to offer help. Proper acknowledgement for your help will be made in the book itself.

Council Directive 93/43 EEC on the hygiene of foodstuffs

Ruth Strauss, Referee of Subject 14: Microbiology

1 Introduction

The foremost aim in the hygiene of foodstuffs is to ensure their absolute hygienic safety. The most important quality with regard to hygiene is the microbiological condition of foodstuffs. Criteria pertaining to hygienic standards are as follows: The foodstuffs must be free of pathogenic microorganisms and the content of toxins and other physical and chemical contaminants must be below the permitted maximum levels. However, the suitability of foodstuffs for the market doesn’t simply depend on their actual condition, but also on the level of hygiene observed during production and upon their hygienic environment in general. In order to meet these requirements of customer protection, any measure within the field of the hygiene of foodstuffs has to have preventive qualities. To date individual measures haven’t been very successful in getting infections of foodstuffs under control. These infections, such as salmonellosis, are still comparatively common worldwide.

Thus, with the increase in free international trade, more comprehensive and more extensive hygiene directives have become necessary, not only nationally but especially internationally. Within the European Union this aim has been achieved. Food laws concerning microbiologically sensitive products have been in existence for some time. As an additional measure the more general EEC Council Directive 93/43 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs was passed in June 1993.

This Directive constitutes an important prerequisite to the developing free trade within the Common Market because free trade can only operate successfully if foodstuffs are produced according to the same or comparable rules of hygiene in all member countries.

2 The EEC Council Directive on the hygiene of foodstuffs

The Directive is based on the Codex Alimentarius [1]. Article 3 of the Directive states that:

Preparation, processing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, transportation, distribution, handling and offering for sale or supply of foodstuffs shall be carried out in a hygienic way [2].

In order to fulfil these requirements, the Directive includes general standards for all foodstuffs, and appended are the more specific ones, which apply to food premises. These latter specifications deal with for example, the condition of the exterior and interior of buildings and of production rooms, machinery and equipment; the standards of personnel (such as personal hygiene and training) and the handling of food (for example transport, waste disposal, water).

3 Requirements of the Directive

The member states are obliged to incorporate the EEC Directive into national law within thirty months of its adoption. So far, the Directive has not been implemented into German law.

The Directive emphasises the responsibility of the food business operators. Where it is suitable, it is recommended that the appended standards be put into practice by developing individual and detailed instructions for good hygienic practice according to the Codex Alimentarius. Furthermore, it is recommended that the standards of the EN ISO 9000 series be followed for implementation of the Directive. The Directive puts an obligation on the food industry to introduce a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) System and to comply with the rules of hygiene as listed in the annex of the Directive. Compliance with the regulations in the annex and the established HACCP-System will then be monitored by the authorities.

4 Consequences for the sugar industry

Generally speaking, it is also advisable for the sugar industry to lay down specific rules of hygiene; rules which are adapted to the product and its manufacturing process and which will help to facilitate both the enforcement of the Directive and the proof of its implementation to the customers. The recommendations in the annex of the Directive have already been followed by the sugar industry.

Two sets of measures result from the implementation of the Directive on the hygiene of foodstuffs within the sugar industry. The first are measures which mainly take effect outwardly, i.e. as well as being officially required they serve to enhance the standing of the product in the eyes of the customers and authorities alike. Such a measure is the introduction of a HACCP-System which the sugar industry, like [2] any other food manufacturer, has to prepare with respect to health hazards. The establishment of a HACCP-System serves as proof both to customers and authorities that the sugar producer has analysed the potential health hazards and is able to control them.

The second set of measures is directed predominantly inwards, i.e. towards the manufacturing process itself. The establishment of specific rules of hygiene serves this aim because they impose the obligation of following a suitable practice of hygiene.

The European sugar industry, including the German industry, has acted upon the recommendations of the Directive and has developed a Framework of Hygiene within the Sugar Industry. The scope of these preventive rules of hygiene has been adapted to the respective requirements. Detailed and comprehensive hygiene rules have only been introduced from the point of crystallization onwards, because the product sugar as such only exists from this point in production. Certain preventive steps to guarantee cleanliness and tidiness are, however, also recommended for the earlier stages of production, namely for the process – in the case of beet sugar – from beet storage to the evaporators.

This inclusion of all stages of sugar production into the hygiene outline takes into account that the front end of the factory is not normally structurally separated from the sugar house. Thus, the Codex Alimentarius’ demand regarding perfect conditions of hygiene during all stages of production is met.

Certainly, sugar has to date been produced in accordance with the legal requirements for foodstuffs. The main advance brought about by the Directive on Hygiene is the increased importance placed on accountability, for example by means of an established HACCP-System and of the Framework of Hygiene within the Sugar Industry.


1 Codex Alimentarius, General Principles of Food Hygiene, Alinorm 95/13

2 Official Journal of the European Communities, No. L 175, 19.7.1993, p.1

Subject 15: Reducing sugars

Work Programme towards the 22nd session 1998

Referee: L.B. Jørgensen (Denmark)

The 21st Session resulted in a number of Recommendations expressing the need for collaborative tests of various methods on white sugar, raw sugar and molasses. Bearing in mind the problems of earlier collaborative work in this Subject it seems relevant to concentrate initially on a few tests. This is to ensure that all practical problems of the individual methods can be examined and clarified before the actual collaborative test is carried out.

Considering the need for approved Official methods on white and raw sugar the Recommendations relating to these products will be addressed first. Within the next 2 years, time and collaboration permitting, the methods for molasses will also be tested.

According to the Recommendations from the 21st Session and the proposals from Associate Referees and the Referees for General Subject 1: Raw Sugar, General Subject 2: White Sugar and General Subject 4: Molasses, the initial programme will be concentrated on the following tests and investigations.

1 Reducing Sugars in White Sugar

The Berlin Institute method, in the form of the latest write-up from Dr. Emmerich (GS1/2/3/4/6/8-5), and the Knight & Allen method (ICUMSA Method GS2/3-5) for the determination of reducing sugars in white sugar will both be collaboratively tested. The tests will be made separately, conducted by G. Parkin, Referee of General Subject 2, and myself. The tests will be made on the same sugar samples so that results by the two methods can be compared.

2 Reducing Sugars in Raw Sugar

Two methods, the Lane and Eynon method (ICUMSA Method GS1/3/7-3) and the Berlin Institute method, in the form of Dr. Emmerich’s latest write-up, are proposed to be collaboratively tested for the determination of reducing sugars in raw sugar.

Associate Referee K. J. Schäffler has proposed to replace the testing of the Lane & Eynon Method by a test of the Luff Schoorl method (ICUMSA Method GS4/3-9) for raw sugar. Mr. Schäffler has pointed out that the range of the Lane & Eynon method is not suitable for raw sugar, because the range expansion by addition of invert sugar reduces the precision. This question is now being considered by the Associate Referees and the Referee of GS1, Raw Sugar.

If time and the quality of the results of the above exercises permit, the following Recommendations will be included in the working program.

3 Reducing Sugars in Molasses

The Luff Schoorl method (ICUMSA Method GS4/3-9) for the determination of reducing sugars in molasses is planned to be collaboratively tested.

Mr. Schäffler has suggested that we include the Lane & Eynon method in the testing, since it is widely used. If time and cooperation permit this, it will be done.

4 Instrumental Methods

Relevant instrumental methods for the determination of reducing sugars will be reviewed. Methods such as HPLC, GC, Flow Injection Analysis (FIA), Near Infrared Reflection (NIR) and enzymatic kits are candidates, but other proposals and ideas would be appreciated.