12Dec 2017


The strategic investment subsidiary Phytocontrol Invest’ Innov has just positioned itself alongside the start-up of Banyuls (Pyrénées-Orientales) which closes its first capital raising round to reach a financing of nearly 1 million euros.

This will enable Microbia Environnement to finalize its R&D and move on to the commercial launch of its innovative solutions for the sustainable management of natural water reserves.

The company, founded by two scientists, Delphine Guillebault and Carmem-Lara Manes, develops biosensors to monitor aquatic environments and more precisely water pollution by toxic algae. This breakthrough innovation will make it possible to anticipate these health risks, particularly for aquaculture.

Since 2016, the young company has accumulated the awards and recognitions that reward its work : Trophée Hydrogaïa Coup de coeur, Trophée Export des éco-entreprises, and the Alfred Sauvy Award.

In line with the development of its Hydro division, Phytocontrol’s involvement with Microbia Environnement announces its strategic positioning on new solutions for anticipating microbiological contamination of water.

Discover Microbia Environnement :


11Dec 2017


The Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno LE MAIRE announced this Sunday, December 10, through a press release, the suspension of the commercialization and exports of several references of infant nutrition products manufactured in 2017 by the group Lactalis Nutrition Santé (LNS) and orders the recall because of a risk of contamination by salmonella.

On December 2,2017, the LNS group, informed of the occurrence of 20 cases of salmonellosis in children under 6 months old who had consumed its products, announced the withdrawal and recall of 12 infant formula references produced on the same site.

Last week, 5 new cases of salmonellosis in infants were reported, with the same strain of salmonella (Salmonella agona) confirmed.

A total of 625 lots of infant formula are involved. The list of product references is available on the website of the Ministry of Solidarity and Health :

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out the research of Salmonella in infant milks under COFRAC accreditation, you can consult our technical appendix COFRAC N°1-1904 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.

05Dec 2017


The ANSES published on November 30,2017 a notice concerning the risk for the consumer regarding the consumption of food supplements based on spirulina.

49 reports of adverse reactions likely to be linked to the consumption of this type of supplement were collected under the French Nutrivigilance system.

Spirulina is a cyanobacteria of the genus Arthrospira. It develops on the surface of the water and grows naturally in warm, fresh water (25°C), alkaline water (pH 8-11.5), rich in carbonates and bicarbonates but also in nitrates, phosphates and iron. It is used in the form of food supplements, as a colouring agent but also in animal feed.

Spirulina is a foodstuff subject to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides.

Three species of spirulina are authorised in food supplements under the Order of 24 June 2014:

Spirulina major

Spirulina maxima

Spirulina platensis

Spirulina has been produced industrially since the 1980s and since the 2000s it has been produced by photobioreactor.

In France, it is sold in the form of powder or food supplements with an intake of 0.25 to 5 g of spirulina per day.

Spirulina may contain various contaminants: cyanobacteria of other genera and their toxins, heavy metals and other bacterial species.


They are produced by several genera of cyanobacteria and are classified into three categories: hepathotoxins (microcystins), neurotoxins (anatoxins, saxitoxins and BMMA) and dermatotoxins.

Cyanobacteria producing cyanotoxins:

Several publications have reported the presence of toxic cyanobacteria (Anabaena sp., Anabaenopsis sp., Phormidium sp., Oscillatoria sp., Synechococcus sp.), associated with the presence of cyanotoxins (anatoxin A, microcystins).

Other bacteria (excluding cyanobacteria):

Spirulina production conditions at a pH of about 10 reduce the growth of pathogenic microorganisms (Listeria, salmonella, coliforms, etc.).

However, during harvesting, washing, drying, storage or packaging, depending on hygiene practices and the water used, contamination may occur.

Contamination by metallic trace elements:

The metal content in spirulina is directly related to water quality.

Most studies generally show acceptable levels of metals, but some analyses have also revealed levels in excess of the limits set in the EU regulations on food supplements.

The majority of products containing only spirulina (Arthrospira spp.) do not have a level of cyanotoxins of concern, however, data available in the literature do not exclude the production of hepatotoxic microcystins by Arthrospira spp. and contamination by other cyanobacteria that produce cyanotoxins.

Bacterial contamination, although rare in finished products, occurs during product handling.

Quantities of metals at concentrations exceeding EU limits or the specifications of the USP dietary supplement compendium have been identified in commercial spirulina samples.

The Expert Committee concluded that, given the risk of contamination by metals and cyanobacteria, it is important to ensure the quality of production water, the selection of inoculum and control of the different stages of production.

It also recommends the introduction of a microcystin threshold in food supplements containing spirulina.

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out the analysis of ETM in spirulina and food supplements based on spirulina as well as water quality analyses under COFRAC accreditation, the parameters concerned can be consulted via our technical appendices COFRAC N°1-1904 and N°1-6066 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.

Enclosed is the link to the full text of this ANSES NOTICE: ANSES’ notice on Spirulina

05Dec 2017


Regulation (EU) 2017/2229 amending Annex I to Directive 2002/32/EC on undesirable substances in animal nutrition was published today.

This new regulation introduces amendments to the sections on Lead, Mercury, Melamine and Decoquinate limits.

It shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the OJ.

Among the changes made:

– Copper oxide (I) is added to the category’ Managenous oxide, iron carbonate and copper carbonate’, i. e. a lead limit of 200 mg/kg instead of 100 mg/kg compared to the previous Regulation.

– A specific limit has been introduced for Mercury in tuna (Thunnus spp., Euthynnus spp. Katsuwonus pelamis) and their derivatives for the production of compound feedingstuffs for dogs, cats, ornamental fish and fur animals. This limit was set at 1mg/kg instead of 0.5mg/kg in the anti-serious version of this regulation.

– Establishment of a limit of 20 mg/kg in melamine in guanidinoacetic acid GAA (Additive). Melamine is present in GAA as an impurity.

– Removal of the limit in decoquinate fixed on chickens for fattening during the period prior to slaughter during which the use of decoquinate is prohibited (removal feed).

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out analyses of Lead, Mercury and Melamine under COFRAC accreditation, the matrices concerned can be consulted via our technical appendix COFRAC N°1-1904 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.

You will find attached the corresponding EU regulation: EU Regulation 2017/2229

28Nov 2017


On Monday 27 November 2017, EU Member States voted to renew the approval of Glyphosate for a period of 5 years: 18 countries voted in favour, 9 against and 1 abstained.

So far, Germany has abstained but has finally voted in favour of the renewal proposal, thereby achieving the 65% required by a qualified majority.

As a reminder, the end of the authorization of glyphosate was scheduled for December 15,2017 according to regulation (EU) N°2016/1313.

Despite this verdict of the European Commission, France plans to ban Glyphosate on its territory as soon as alternatives have been found and those within 3 years.

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to look for glyphosate with a LQ of 0.01mg/kg under COFRAC accreditation for a wide range of matrix materials. You can consult our technical appendix COFRAC N°1-1904 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.

For all technical, pricing and/or regulatory inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

27Nov 2017


The RASFF Annual Report 2016 for food and feed products has just been published.

In 2016, 2993 notifications were transmitted through the RASFF portal, 28% (n = 847) of which were alert notifications, 13% (n = 378) of information for monitoring, 20% (n = 598) of notifications for information and 39% (n = 1170) of notifications of rejection at borders.
Compared to 2015, the number of alert notifications involving a serious health risk increased by 9%.

Salmonella: Salmonella is the most frequently reported pathogen. The product most concerned is meat, but notifications have also been made for egg products containing in particular Salmonella Enteritidis.

Listeria monocytogenes: Notifications for listeria monocytogenes mainly concern fish, and mostly smoked salmon. There are also reports on raw milk cheeses.

Escherichia coli: The notifications issued for Escherichia coli are linked to the food safety criterion for living bivalve molluscs of 230 MPN/100g laid down in EU Regulation 2073/2005 and its amendments.

Norovirus: 14 notifications concerning noroviruses, including 11 in live oysters from France.

Campylobacter: was notified 9 times, mainly in fresh chicken and once in a rocket salad from Italy.

Allergens: 107 notifications were received. Milk, soy, nuts and gluten are the most frequently reported allergens. Cereals and bakery products are most often notified.

Heavy metals: 88 reports were submitted, mostly for the detection of mercury in fish. In addition to mercury, lead and cadmium are also harmful heavy metals, with maximum limits set in EU legislation.

Mycotoxins: Aflatoxins were mainly reported in nuts. Typically, these are nut products imported from outside the EU and then processed in the EU. Ochratoxin A has been reported mainly in dried fruits such as raisins, dried figs and cereal products. Concerning the notifications for fumonisins, out of six notifications, five concerned maize products.

Pesticide residues: 222 notifications were issued, the majority on fruit and vegetables. All notifications in the category’ cocoa and cocoa preparations, coffee and tea’ concern tea, mainly from China and India. 143 of the 222 notifications are discharges at borders. These products have therefore never entered the EU.

Please find attached the link to the full report: RASFF Annual Report 2016

Be aware that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out several of these analyses under COFRAC accreditation, they can be consulted via our technical appendix COFRAC N°1-1904 available in your customer area or on the COFRAC website.

21Nov 2017


Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 establishing mitigation measures and reference levels for the reduction of acrylamide in foodstuffs was published today in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Acrylamide is a substance formed from compounds naturally present in certain foodstuffs, including asparagine and reducing sugars such as glucose and fructose at temperatures above 120°C and under conditions of low humidity.
According to the EFSA opinion published in 2015, acrylamide has carcinogenic effects for all types of consumers.

Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 establishes mitigation measures to reduce acrylamide in foodstuffs and reference levels. It is intended that these reference levels will be reviewed every three years.
The application of the mitigation measures set out in the Regulation may lead to changes in operators’ production processes, so the Regulation will only apply from 11 April 2018.

In Annex I to the Regulations, mitigation measures are specified by product type:
– Raw potato products (sliced chips, French fries and other cut potato products baked or dipped in oil)
– Chips, Snacks, Crackers and other potato products based on potato paste
– Fine bakery products
– Breakfast cereals
– Coffee
– Coffee substitutes containing more than 50% of cereals
– Coffee substitutes containing more than 50% chicory
– Baby biscuits and infant cereal
– Potted baby food (low acidity and prune-based foods)
– Bread

Annex II, Part A describes mitigation measures for operators who carry out retail activities and/or directly provide only local retail trade.

Annex II, Part B describes the additional mitigation measures to be applied by operators operating in facilities under direct control and carrying on business under a trade mark or licence. These operators must also apply the measures in Annex II, Part A.

Annex III sets out the requirements for sampling and analysis.

The following reference levels are set out in Annex IV, which also provides information on the indicative values initially laid down in the framework of Recommendation 2013/647/EU in order to make it easier to identify the resulting changes.


Reference levels (µg/kg) according to Regulation 2017/2158

Guideline values (µg/kg) according to Recommendation 2013/647/EU

Fries (ready to eat)



Chips made from fresh potatoes and potato paste



Potato Crackers



Other potato products obtained from potato paste



Bread (wet bread)
Wheat-based bread



Bread (wet bread) other than wheat bread



Breakfast cereals (except porridge)
Bran-based products and whole grains, pistol-blown grains



Wheat and rye products



Corn, oat, spelt, barley and rice products



Biscuits and Wafers



Crackers, excluding potato crackers



Crunchy bread






Products comparable to other products in this category



Roasted coffee



Instant coffee (soluble)



Coffee substitutes
Coffee substitutes obtained solely from cereals



Coffee substitutes obtained from a mixture of cereals and chicory



Coffee substitutes obtained solely from chicory



Baby food, processed cereal-based foods for infants and young children, excluding biscuits and crackers



Biscuits and Rusks for infants and young children



(2) The reference content to be applied to coffee substitutes obtained from a mixture of cereals and chicory shall take into account the relative share of these ingredients in the final product.

Food business operators producing and placing on the market the foodstuffs concerned shall apply the specified mitigation measures and reach acrylamide levels below the reference levels.

Where reference levels are exceeded, operators should re-examine the mitigation measures in place and adapt processes and controls.

You will find the full text of this regulation at the following link: Regulation (EU) 2017/2158

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to carry out acrylamide analysis under COFRAC accreditation, the matrices concerned can be consulted via our technical appendix COFRAC N°1-1904 available in your customer portal or on the COFRAC website.

For all technical, pricing and/or regulatory inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

20Nov 2017


Regulation (EU) No 2017/2091 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance Iprodione was published in the EU OJ on 15 November 2017.

An application for renewal had been submitted and a renewal evaluation report had been sent to EFSA and the Commission on 3 November 2015.

On 8 June 2016, EFSA communicated its findings to the Commission.

The uses of Iprodione present a high risk for groundwater in which relevant metabolites of iprodione exceed the parametric value of 0.1? g/l for drinking water. Therefore, there is a high long-term risk to aquatic organisms.

On the other hand, the genotoxic potential of a metabolite found as a residue in plants and as an impurity in technical equipment and an acute risk to the consumer could not be excluded.

Iprodione is also classified in category 2 of carcinogens in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, while EFSA concludes that iprodione should be classified as carcinogen category 1B and as a category 2 reproductive toxicant.

Authorisations for plant protection products containing iprodione must be withdrawn before 5 March 2018, with a period of grace expiring on 5 June 2018 at the latest.

At Iprodione is currently licensed in France for the following matrices: Garlic, Asparagus, Aubergine, Carrot, Cabbage, Cabbage, Cucumber, Pepper, Tomato, Zucchini, Shallot, Onions, Beans, Peas, Lettuce, Melon, Strawberry, Apricot, Blackcurrant, Cherry, Raspberry, etc.

You will find attached the corresponding EU Regulation: EU Regulation N°2017/2091

Know that your Phytocontrol laboratory is able to look for Iprodione with a LQ of 0.01mg/kg.

For all technical, pricing and/or regulatory inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.

06Nov 2017


The European regulation N°1169/2011 requires a nutrition declaration on foodstuff. The nutrition declaration must be presented in the form of a table (or if there is a lack of place, in line). All elements of the nutrition declaration should appear together in the same field of vision:  the labelling of the energy value and the quantities of some nutrients (fat, saturates, carbohydrates, protein, sugars and salt).

As this table may be difficult to understand, the French government recommends a complementary nutrition information to facilitate understanding for consumers. The European regulation N°1169/2011 allow each country to develop complementary nutrition information.

The order of 31 October 2017 regulating the form of presentation recommended by the French government under Articles L. 3232-8 and R. 3232-7 of the Public Health Code was published in the Journal Officiel of the French Republic of the 3rd November 2017.

This complementary framework is named Nutri-score. The label is a colourful scale (from pale green to orange) associated to letters from A (“best nutritional quality”) to E (“low nutritional quality”). The order gives in annexe the specifications to calculate the food nutritional score and to class them on the scale.

This nutritional score takes account of different parameters:

  • The negative component of the product (“N”). In this negative component can be find: caloric density (available energy value expressed in kJ per 100g), the saturated fatty acid levels, simple sugars (in g per 100g of food) and in salt (in mg per 100g of food)
  • The positive component of the product (“P”). In this positive component can be find: the estimate fruit and vegetable content, the vitamins and the fibre and proteins content (in g per 100g of food)

For each parameter, points are allocated to the products. Apart for specific rules, the Nutri-score is calculated as below: Nutritional score= total point “N” – Total point “P”

This is the ranking of the foodstuff:

  • A rank: score < or equal to -1 (dark green)
  • B rank: score from 0 to 2 (clear green)
  • C rank: score from 3 to 10 (clear orange)
  • D rank: score from 11 to 18 (orange)
  • E rank: score > or equal to 19 (dark orange)

Below, you will find the complete order: Arrêté du 03/11/17 Nutri-Score