Report on the International Symposium of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (ISEAC 39) held at the University of Hamburg, July 19 – 22 (2016) in Hamburg (Germany)

Under the chairmanship of Professor Markus Fischer, Hamburg School of Food Science, University of Hamburg (Chairman Food Control) and Professor José Broekaert, President of the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (Chairman Environmental Analysis) the International Conference on Environmental Analytical Chemistry and Food Monitoring (ISEAC 39) with 214 participants took place at the University of Hamburg. In the Geomaticum building of the University of Hamburg, where the meeting took place, the participants enrolled and were welcomed at a reception on the eve of July 18, 2016.

The conference was sponsored by Shimadzu (Platinum Sponsorship) as well as Agilent Technologies, Bruker Daltronik, LECO Europe, Sciex, Spectro Analytical Instruments GmbH (Gold Sponsorships). Furthermore, Scientific Talks sponsored by Shimadzu and SGS Europe GmbH took place and poster awards were bestowed by Taylor & Francis for the International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Springer for the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (ABC) and the Royal Society of Chemistry for the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry (JAAS). Also a Roland Frei Poster Award was arranged by the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (IAEAC) as the organizing society of the ISEAC 39.
Instrument exhibition

Instrument exhibition at ISEAC 39

An instrument exhibition in which the companies Agilent Technologies, AHF Analysentechnik AG, Axel Semrau, Bruker Daltronik, Bruker Biospin, Büchi Switzerland, Campro Scientific GmbH, Illumina, LECO Europe, Macherey Nagel, RESTEK, SCIEX, Shimadzu and Thermo Fischer Scientific participated. The scientific program comprised invited oral lectures, lectured sponsored by instrument companies and contributed oral talks by scientists and 100 posters.

The conference was opened by welcome words of Dr. Kregel, Senate Director of the Department of Health and Consumer Protection of the City of Hamburg, Prof. Dr. José Broekaert, President of the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry and co-Chairman of ISEAC 39 as well as Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer, Director of the Hamburg School of Food Science, University of Hamburg as the Chairman of the ISEAC 39. During the first two days topics of food analysis and themes related to environmental analysis were dealt with in two parallel sessions. The environmental session was started by the topic “Anthropogenic Chemicals”. Here Niessner (TU Munich, Germany) treated the topic of microarray technologies with antibodies, oligonucleotides and nanoparticles. Van Langenhove (VU Brussels, Belgium) reported on endocrine substances released by hospitals, Tobiszewski (TU Gdansk, Poland) reported on green analytical chemistry, Lan (UHelsinki, Finland) on microextraction techniques for amines, Belkin (Hebrew U Jerusalem, Israel) on bacteria determinations, Quintana (U Santiago de Compostella, Spain) on the determination of phthalate metabolites, Mülow-Stollin (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany) on fungicide determinations and Oliveira (UPorto, Portugal) on the monitoring of methane emissions. In the food section, the topic “Contaminants and Residues” was introduced by Nugen (Cornell U, Ithaka, USA). Nugen reported on the use of phage-based nanoprobes, Goncalves (JRC, Geel, Belgium) on the monitoring of food contaminants by international networks, Zanella (U Santa Maria, Brazil) on pesticide residue analysis, Oellig (U Hohenheim, Germany) on the screening for alkaloids in rye flour, Kuhlmann (SGS Germany, Hamburg) on the determination of monochloropropanadiol and glycodiol in food matrices, Jedrkiewicz (TU Gdansk, Poland) on the determination of esters and lipids, Hernandez (ANSES, Maisons-Alfort, France) on the validation of Cr(VI) determinations in food and Paris (U Caen, France) on the determination of several hydrocarbons in fruits. Sponsor contributed talks were given by Shimadzu (topic: beer and contaminants) and SGS (topic: detection of pyrrolizidine and tropane alkaloids).

The second series of talks in the field of environmental analysis focused on “Global Pollutants”. Here Furuta (Chuo U, Tokyo, Japan) reported on long-term and real time analysis of airborne dust, Raessler (MPI Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany) on arsenic determinations in Bangladesh groundwater, Pröfrock (HZG Geesthacht, Germany) on speciation in the environment. The afternoon was closed with corporate presentations by Sciex, LECO and Agilent dealing with environmental analysis followed. In the field of food analysis the topic of “Food authenticity” was highlighted. Allard (FDA Washington, USA) talked about ew applications of DNA sequencing for food safety issues. Irrgeher (BOKU, Vienna, Austria) used elemental and isotopic fingerprinting as tools against food fraud and Sickmann (ISAS, Dortmund, Germany) gave an overview of the integration of proteomics and metabolomics. At the end of this session, further companies contributed talks of LECO, Spectro Analytical Instruments GmbH, Sciex, Agilent Technologies, Bruker and Illumina in the field of food analysis followed.

On the second day, two parallel morning sessions were held. With respect to the topic of “Global pollutants” Krystek (VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands dealt with the risks of nanomaterials, Baeumner (U Regensburg, Germany) reported on the use of biosensors for environmental analysis, Leopold (U Ulm) on the environmental monitoring of mercury and its species and Romanova (Novosibirsk State University, Russian Federation) on the speciation of mercury in plants. In the field of “Food Authenticity” Klockmann (U Hamburg) reported on non-targeted fingerprinting approach for geographical origin discrimination of hazelnuts, Riedl (Federal Institute of Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany) on molecular fingerprinting to tackle adulteration of spices and herbs, Nicolotti (German Research Centre for Food Chemistry, Freising, Germany) on multivariate techniques in GC-GC-TOF-MS, Steinbeck (EMBL-EBI, Cambridge, UK) on Bioinformatics and Synytsya (U Prague, Czech Republic) on the spectroscopic discrimination of bee pollen. During the lunch break a Lunch Seminar arranged by Thermo Fisher Scientific took place. As a novelty for this conference series the session “Thinking outside the box”, which was sponsored by Shimadzu Europe GmbH was launched. For this session four outstanding speakers showed their view beyond the scientific horizon. Huber (Nobel Laureate Chemistry, MPI Martinsried, Germany) reported on the structure elucidation of proteins whereas Kutter (Fraunhofer Institute for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies, Munich, Germany) covered the field of sensors for the Internet of things. Makarov (Thermo Fisher, Bremen) reported on his invention the Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer and Miller (MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Hamburg and U Toronto, Canada) illustrated the mapping of atomic motions using ultrabright electrons. In the public lecture Hensel (President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany) pointed the conflicts between political consulting and public perception with respect to food and environmental issues.

A gala dinner starting with a stand-up reception during the sunset of July 19 on the upper deck of ship Rickmer Rickmers in the harbor of Hamburg was the highlight of the social program of ISEAC 39.
Gala dinner

Participants at the reception prior to the gala dinnerof ISEAC 39 at the Rickmer Rickmers

The third conference day comprised in the morning the “World Food Forum” and one session of lectures in the afternoon. Discussions on the topic “Food production in underdeveloped nations: Challenges for authorities, food industry and analytical strategies” were held. After the welcome speech of Ms. Elke Badde (State Secretary for Health and Consumer Production, Ministry of Health and Consumer protection, Hamburg, Germany) statements by Prof. Dr. R. Wittkowski (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany), Dr. Djien Liem (European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy), Dr. Marc Allard (FDA Washington, USA), Betina Jahn (SGS Germany, Hamburg), Beate Kettlitz (Food Drink Europe, Brussels, Belgiums), Dr. Dietmar Laudert (DSM, Delft, The Netherlands) and Mr. Yves Rey (Danone Group, France) were made under the conductance of the anchorman Anselm Elles (AFC Consulting, Bonn, Germany) and discussions enrolled.

Thursday afternoon was put under the umbrella of “Emerging Challenges for Environment and Food Analytics” were treated. Wittkowski (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany) discussed the environmental impact on food safety, Albaiges (CSIC Barcelona, Spain) reported on methods for oil spill fingerprinting, Elsner (Helmholz Zentrum Munich, Germany) on the study of complex reaction mechanisms with compound-specific isotope analysis, Faure (EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland) on the problems of microplastics in the environment and Filella (U Geneva, Switzerland) on quality assurance in microplastics determinations.

The poster sessions on two afternoons attracted much interests and Poster Awards were given to: Hinckley (USA), Frey Award for the poster entitled: “Engineering bacteriophage for the ultrasensitive detection of foodborne and animal pathogens”.

Creydt (Hamburg), ABC Award for the poster “Metabolic profiling of asparagus officinalis for discrimination of the geographical origin based on ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry“.

Belhacova (Czech Republic, Taylor and Francis Award for the poster entitled: “Pore water and accessible concentrations of hydrophobic contaminants in Danube river sediments estimated by multi-ratio equilibrium passive sampling”


and to Brandt (U Ulm, Germany), JAAS Award for the poster entitled: ”Direct detection of metal nanoparticles with high resolution continuum source graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy“.

In the session on the last conference day “Emerging Strategies and Technologies for Environment and Food Analytics” were treated. Ray (U Buffalo, USA) reported on new mass spectrometric analysis techniques and instrumentation for environmental analysis, Irrgeher (Helmholtz-Centre Geesthacht, Germany) gave a lecture on elemental and isotopic mapping in the german Wadden Sea, Ogrinc (Josef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenija) on the application of compound specific isotope analysis in food authenticity testing, Vanhaecke (U Ghent, Belgium) on insights into environmental issues via high-precision isotopic analysis by means of multi-collector ICP-MS, Gronewold (Eurofins, Hamburg, Germany) on mycotoxin detection in cerials, Kuballa (GALAB Laboratories, Hambur, Germany) on food metabolomics and Heintz (Bruker Biospin GmbH, Germany) on innovative strategies for food authencity testing.

There will be a next ISEAC conference in Santiago de Compostella, Spain, in 2018 and details will be announced soon on the homepage of the International Association of Environmental Analytical Chemistry (IAEAC) and on the conference page

J.A.C. Broekaert and M. Fischer

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