AOAC INTERNATIONAL Announces Accelerated Program to Evaluate Test Kits that Measure Yeast and Mold in Cannabis


Emergency Response Validation option will streamline certification of scientific test kits.

ROCKVILLE, MD, US, September 29, 2020 / — AOAC INTERNATIONAL today announced the launch of a new project to evaluate and certify the performance of scientific test kits that enumerate total yeast and mold organisms in cannabis flower.

Yeasts and molds can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions, resulting in contamination of products and significant economic loss. In the absence of a federal framework of regulations for cannabis, states have individually developed microbial testing requirements. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of cannabis batches fail these microbial contaminant requirements. Recent surveys of cannabis products found over 4,000 different fungal taxonomic classifications in cannabis flower, including several pathogenic fungal agents.

AOAC is a leader in cannabis testing science through its Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP). CASP brings together leaders from state and federal government, industry, academia and contract laboratories to develop consensus-based standards and scientific methods for cannabis microbiological and chemical analysis.

To ensure safer products are reaching consumers, state regulators have requested that testing facilities use AOAC INTERNATIONAL validated methods. However, while AOAC has already certified methods for detecting yeast and mold in various substances, none are available for cannabis products. This project will concurrently develop emergency criteria and perform a matrix extension to cannabis flower for test kits previously certified by AOAC for detecting yeast and mold.

The project will employ the Emergency Response Validation option of the Performance Tested Methods Program (PTM) administered by the AOAC Research Institute. The PTM program provides independent third-party expert review and certification for proprietary test kit method performance. The Emergency Response Validation option allows for rapid development of testing criteria and validation of the performance of multiple test kit models at once, to speed the availability and variety of certified test kits.

The new project is expected to be underway by mid-October 2020. Regulators, method developers or cannabis/hemp laboratories interested in becoming a part of CASP or submitting a method as part of the validation study are encouraged to get involved.

For more information see the full announcement or contact Scott Coates at



AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a globally recognized, 501(c)(3), independent, third party, not-for-profit association and voluntary consensus standards developing organization founded in 1884. When analytical needs arise within a community or industry, AOAC INTERNATIONAL is the forum for finding appropriate science-based solutions through the development of microbiological and chemical standards. The AOAC Official Methods of Analysis database is used by food scientists around the world to facilitate public health and safety and to promote trade. For more information, please visit

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Source: EIN Presswire