ISO 24276, Foodstuffs –Methods of analysis for the detection of genetically modified organisms and derived products – General requirements and definitions, lists the following steps that need to be taken after sample collection for analysis:

  • Nucleic acids or proteins are extracted from the test portion;
  • Extracted analytes are further purified;
  • Quantified (if necessary); diluted (if necessary); and,
  • Analyzed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other procedures.

The standard's main focus is on the PCR based methodology, a precise method for generating unlimited copies of specific fragment of DNA, but methods using protein as the analytical target are also covered.

It also comprises validation of methods and a check-list of what information the test reports must cover and gives guidelines for laboratory set-up including:

  • Procedural requirements;
  • Laboratory design;
  • Personnel regulations;
  • Apparatus and equipment maintenance; and,
  • Materials and reagents used for analysis.

Though this standard had been established for food matrices, it could also be applied to other areas such as seeds, feed or plant samples from the environment.

ISO 24276 was prepared by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) technical committee CEN/TC 275, Food analysis – Horizontal methods, in collaboration with ISO/TC 34, Food products. The standard costs 84 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat.