In 1989, the Community Bureau of Reference started a research program to improve the quality of vitamin analysis in food. To achieve this task, vitamin methodology was evaluated and tested by interlaboratory studies and the preparation of certified reference materials, which will be used for quality control of vitamin measurements. The main improvements in methodology were achieved by testing and standardizing the extraction condition and enzymatic hydrolysis procedures. Results for each individual material are derived from five replicate determinations using at least two independent methods: Liquid chromatography (HPLC) and microbiological assay for vitamins B1, B2, and B6; and radioprotein binding and microbiological assays for vitamin B12. The certificate of analysis for four reference materials gives mass fraction values for water-soluble vitamins. These certified values were based on the acceptable statistical agreement of results from collaborating laboratories. Certified values with uncertainties (mg/kg dry matter) for each CRM are as follows: 4.63 (0.20) and 4.10 (0.51) for vitamins B1 and B6, respectively, in CRM 121 (wholemeal flour); 6.51 (0.24), 14.54 (0.3), 6.66 (0.43), and 0.034 (0.003) for vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, respectively, in CRM 421 (milk powder); 3.07 (0.17) and 4.80 (0.40) for vitamins B1 and B6, respectively, in CRM 485 (lyophilized mixed vegetables), and 8.58 (0.55), 106.8 (2.8), 19.3 (1.5), and 1.12 (0.044) for vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, respectively, in CRM 487 (lyophilized pig liver).