Paul Robb

Paul leads a team of scientists of international standing with expertise in safeguarding consumers from exposure to contaminants in food and from product misrepresentation which could have adverse health and economic impacts.


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  • Area of expertise
    Environmental Quality & Food Security
  • Years of experience
  • Highest qualification
    PhD, C.Sci., C.Chem., MRSC.

Paul has extensive experience and expertise in understanding the vulnerability of the food chain to contamination, whether by accident or malicious intent. Having participated in several EU projects designed to better understand the impact of serious contamination events on the food chain, he has brought to bear skills in emergency planning and business continuity as well as his analytical chemistry and biosecurity expertise.

Paul started his career as an analytical radiochemist working in the nuclear industry before moving to what is now Fera and developing expertise in food safety, trace metals analysis, veterinary drug residue testing, large scale biosecurity enhancement and advanced chemical analysis using non-targeted approaches, particularly for hazardous contaminants. Quality control at the “fit for purpose” level is a common theme across his career and he extended the application of his knowledge to helping investigations into sports doping issues many years ago. More recently, he has contributed significantly to a major EU project on enhancing plant/food chain biosecurity (which included chemical hazards). Safeguarding the food chain from challenging contamination events remains an ongoing interest.

More about food safety

With a large range of testing abilities, our multi-disciplinary approach gives an overall view of any food issue you may be facing, providing you with the complete information you need to make the strong decisions needed to address these issues.

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Latest Papers and Articles

Robb, P. Considering Vulnerabilities, Threats and Gaps in Plant and Food Biosecurity in Plant Pathol.21st Century, Vol. 8, Maria Lodovica Gullino et al. (Eds): Practical Tools for Plant and Food Biosecurity. Springer Nature. April 2017.

Clarke, D B; Lloyd, A S.; Robb, P. Application of liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry separation for rapid assessment of toxins in Amanita mushrooms. Analytical Methods (2012), 4 (5), 1298-1309.

Charlton, A J., Robb P, Donarski, J A. and Godward, J. Non-targeted detection of chemical contamination in carbonated soft drinks using NMR spectroscopy, variable selection and chemometrics. Analytical Chimica Acta (2008), 618 (2), 196-203.

Castanheira, I., Robb, P., Owen, L., Boer, den. H., Schmit, J.., Ent, H. & Calhau, M.A. A proposal to demonstrate a harmonised quality approach to analytical data production by EuroFIR. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. (2007) 20 ( 8), 725-732.

Weeks, C.A; Croasdale, M; Osborne, M.A; Hewitt, L; Miller, P.F; Robb, P; Baxter, M;. Warriss, P.D. and Knowles, T.G. Multi-element survey of wild edible fungi and blackberries in the UK. Food Additives and Contaminants (2006) 23(2), 140-147.

Cola and Lemonade

Paul and their team work with customers to deliver the following services within Fera...

Consultancy on emergency planning and specialist analytical approaches.

Food Contact Materials Testing

Our work involves targeted and non targeted analysis of known and unknown migrants. Analysis can be carried out in complex matrices (foods, food simulants and food contact materials and articles) utilising a range of advanced chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques.

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Contaminant Testing

Our experts focus on the scientific research relating to intentionally added food components and to those arising from chemical changes during food processing, bioactive chemicals and natural toxicants.

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Authenticity Testing

Fera's analysts use industry leading techniques and cutting edge technologies to ensure compliance with food safety regulations, protecting public health and traceability.

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All Our Food Safety Science

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