NMKL – A NORDIC COOPERATION FORUM FOR FOOD ANALYSTS
The Nordic Committee on Food Analysis (Swedish: Nordisk Metodikkommitté för Livsmedel, NMKL) was founded 1947, to serve as a food analysis forum in the Nordic countries, promoting networking and cooperation opportunities between analysts. By combining the scarce resources of the Nordic countries, NMKL enables the creation of analytical methods and quality assurance instructions. Both are important to laboratories and their creation is beyond the capacity of individual member countries.
Forming part of official Nordic cooperation, NMKL is partly funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Committee's main purpose is to develop appropriate, well-documented chemical, microbiological and sensory methods of analysis, the reliability of which has mainly been tested in studies performed between laboratories. Another important task is the production of instructions for laboratories and the users of analysis results. These are typically quality assurance documents. NMKL also organises training, meetings and seminars.
Although NMKL operates in the Nordic countries, the results of its work are presented in international forums, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Comité Européen de Standardization (CEN), Codex Alimentarius – International Food Standards and AOAC International. Operating within the NMKL framework NordVal International is tasked with the certification of test kits according to internationally approved principles. Its operations are relevant to all NMKL sectors. So far it has certified 30 rapid microbiological methods.
NMKL's operations are organised in such a way that each Nordic country has a national committee representing the country's interests. Appointed by Evira, the Food Laboratory Committee serves as the Finnish national committee. It includes representatives of control authorities, national reference laboratories, central laboratories, local laboratories, the Finnish Standards Association SFS and the food industry. In the years 2009-2015 the whole of NMKL is chaired by Sweden. Sweden leads NMKL's Administration/Executive committee, comprising the chairmen of the national committees and NMKL's Secretary General, who is tasked with coordinating the entire operation. NMKL's rather extensive portfolio of methods is available from NMKL's Secretariat General.
NMKL's website contains further information on methods, instructions, NordVal International certification, training, the available proficiency test, national reference laboratories in the Nordic countries etc. The NMKL Newsletter is also available on the website.
The country hosting NMKL's Annual General Meeting changes every year.