Given that laboratory based analytical methods are time-consuming and require trained operators, there is an increasing need and developement of portable on-site or point of need (PON) testing. These are rapid, low cost and give results in real-time for both qualitative and quantitative screening for food quality, authenticity and safety. This process automatisation through process analytical technologies (PAT) is an increasing trend in the food industry as a way to achieve improved product quality, safety, and consistency, reduced production cycle times, minimal product waste or reworks, and the possibility for real-time product release. These techniques could also be used by consumers for end point testing, or farmers and small producers to monitor products in the field. This development requires the attention of the research community and device manufacturers to ensure reliability of measurement results from PAT strategy and PON tests through the demonstration and critical evaluation of performance characteristics. The authors warn that the fitness for purpose of methods in real-life conditions is a priority that should not be overlooked in order to maintain an effective and harmonised food safety policy and food fraud prevention.
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