This year’s meeting was held at the Boca Raton Resort in Florida. We had a booth this year as usual, and we presented our FREESTYLE ThermELUTE system, which is a great new automated system for fast and sensitive Mycotoxin analysis. We also shared some details about this new system in our Vendor presentation and our poster titled “Integrated Analysis and Automated Sample Cleanup of Aflatoxin B/G, M1, Ochratoxin A”
In addition to ThermELUTE, Laszlo Torma and Maria Ofitserova were on hand to participate in several community meetings and Expert Review Panels and to present a second poster.
After the exhibition ended on Tuesday afternoon, we stayed to listen to Wednesday’s talks and to present our second poster on Glufosinate, titled simply, “Glufosinate and Glyphosate in Water” While this herbicide is not necessarily a new topic, it’s certainly a challenging one, and with the developing resistance of the unwanted plants (i.e. weeds) to Glyphosate, growers are turning to this herbicide.
As a team, we sat in on a few sessions; this editor sat in on two:
Honey Production & Veterinary Drug Contamination: Fate & Control in which some new methods for analyzing antibiotics in honey were presented. One particularly interesting presentation highlighted the challenges of finding standards for several degradation products of the antibiotics in the honey.
Analytical Challenges with Chemicals of Emerging Concern to Test Food Quality and Safety: Presentations included studies about the uptake of Emerging contaminants (i.e. flame retardants, diphenhydramine) by crops using reclaimed water, and an interesting technique using metabolomics to determine the authenticity of herbs and spices. A third presenter described their analytical challenges when facing illegal food dyes, such as Rhodamine B in imported products. This last presentation was rather frightening due to the prevalence of these dyes in products from developing countries which are finding their way into our food supply.
Outside of the meeting rooms, the resort is located in a very affluent area of Boca Raton. It was rumored that Oprah Winfrey is a member of the golf club there. Indeed, while taking a short walk around the grounds, we saw a Ferrari, a Mazerati, and a Bentley. Not to mention several Mercedes Benz and Porsche. On the water were several megayachts, and an Oyster sailing yacht. The sailboat included a paid crew, bow thrusters and electric winches, all of which would be very much appreciated by this editor on our boat (although some would argue that such conveniences are “cheating”).
All in all, it was a good meeting. We enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. We look forward to the 2015 meeting in Los Angeles, California.