AOAC International, the AOAC, is a non-profit Scientific Association with its headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. The AOAC is comprised of Chemists, Microbiologists, Laboratory Managers, and Statisticians with nearly 3200 Members from more than 90 countries. The Association’s primary programs focus on validation of Chemical and Microbiological Analytical Methods. AOAC validated methods are used by governments, industries, and academia throughout the world for analysis of a variety of commodities, particularly those related to food, agriculture, public health and safety, and environment. The goal of AOAC is to improve the overall quality of laboratory operations and foster harmonization of laboratory procedures and systems.
Founded on September 8, 1884 as ‘Association of Official Agricultural Chemists’ by United States Department of Agriculture, to establish uniform chemical analysis methods for analyzing fertilizers, in 1965, its name changed to Association of Official Analytical Chemists encompassing its scope beyond agriculture. During 1980s and 1990s, the attention of the analytical community changed from chemical to microbiological food contaminants. Consequently, in 1991, the name of the Association was changed to AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The new name retained its past initials, AOAC, as the "Association of Analytical Communities." In addition to the compendium of methods adopted by AOAC INTERNATIONAL, which contains over 3000 methods, the Association publishes the ‘Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL’ and a variety of other publications. AOAC’s Journal contains research articles and reports on current collaborative study data, including information on inter- and intra-laboratory performance precision. ‘Inside Laboratory Management’, a full-color bi-monthly magazine contains technical and general articles on laboratory management, regulations, emerging technologies, instrumentation, and other areas pertinent to laboratory procedures and quality control. Recently in 2005 the ‘Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL’, 18th Edition has come.
AOAC is now concerned with analytical methods to evaluate the safety of foods, beverages, dietary supplements, and similar materials consumed by humans and animals. These methods include both chemical (e.g., for vitamins or pesticides) and microbiological tests (e.g., for spoilage agents or biological threat agents). AOAC is also involved in evaluation of methods in new areas like genetically modified organisms (GMOs), biological threat agents such as Bacillus anthracis etc. AOAC has official observer status in Codex Alimentarius since its inception.AOAC has been proved to be a boon in the development of efficient and accurate analytical methods with saving of valuable time.