Richard attained a PhD in 1989 from the University of Munich in Germany. After a 2 year post doc in the pharmaceutical faculty of the same University, Richard joined the Chemical Toxicology Group at the Nestlé Research Centre (NRC) in Lausanne in 1992. In 1996 transfer to the Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre (NQAC) in Singapore as Senior Quality Technologist. Returned to the NRC in 1998 to Head the Biomarkers and Contaminants Group. In 2004, appointed Head of Quality Management of the Product Technology Centre in Orbe, Switzerland. Richard currently holds the position of Group Expert for Chemical Food Safety, within Corporate Quality Management. Richard has published > 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, chairs / co-chairs several industry expert groups, editor of the Journal Food Additives & Contaminants, and on the editorial board of several scientific journals.
Managing Chemical Contaminants: Issues & Challenges Faced by the Food Industry
Protecting consumers from chemical contaminants in food is vitally important if food industries are to retain consumers’ trust and confidence. This requires a thorough understanding of potential contaminant hazards from raw ingredients, as well as an understanding of potential toxins that might form during food processing. Modern analytical techniques have improved our awareness of such chemical contaminants, which allows for them to be better controlled. However, some of the control measures that are now possible, through those advances in analytical methodology, have brought with them unintended consequences. Risks do not always exist in isolation, and so regulatory authorities must often balance one risk against another — as, for example, occurs between chemical hazards and microbiological hazards. Other compounds, long thought of as being only pesticide contaminants or veterinary drug contaminants, have recently been discovered to occur naturally in foods at trace levels; making their complete prohibition unfeasible. The food industry has an important role to play in being transparent with these new discoveries, so that food regulators are better equipped to control unwanted contaminants, whilst not inadvertently placing undue restrictions onto their citizens’ food supplies.