European Union Reference Laboratory for Metals and Nitrogenous Compounds in Feed and Food


The purpose of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Metals and Nitrogenous Compounds in Feed and Food (EURL-MN) is to provide the National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) with analytical methods for analytes within its scope, to ensure their analytical quality, disseminate relevant knowledge to the NRLs and advise to the Commission. Finally, the EURL-MN is part of the European contingency for food safety with its scope.

A key part of the task is proficiency tests to develop and document the analytical performanceby the NRLs and official control laboratories as described in EU 2017/625 and EU 2004/882.

Most of the activities of the EURL-MN aim to implement:

·         Efficient methods for determination of analytes within its scope

·         Boosting the communication in the EURL/NRL/OfL network

·         Strengthen education and training

·         Address knowledge gaps

·         Ensuring harmonization in analysis


The EURL-MN is hosted by the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark in the research groups NanoBio-science (primarily metals, metal compounds and nanoparticles) and Analytical Food Chemistry (primarily organic contaminants, including nitrogenous compounds), respectively. These two groups develop and maintain the skills and infrastructure within chemical food analysis to quantify a wide range of chemical parameters in food and biological matrices at trace levels. For this purpose, the research groups maintain the institutes analytical infrastructure based on modern mass spectrometers, which represent almost all relevant techniques. Together, with modern chromatographic and sample purification procedures are the backbone for all analyses.

Newer areas of research include proving authenticity of food using isotope ratio mass spectrometry, characterisation and analysis of nanoparticles in food and feed as well as studies of biochemical effects in cells and organisms via metabolomics. The institute has a very active dissemination strategy and publishes research results in the scientific literature, scientific reports or similar.



DTU Food supports the EURL-MN with basic housing, infrastructure, administrative, and IT-support.

26 MAY 2024