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Avomeen Blog

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Tough Problems do Food Laboratories Solve for Manufactures?

Food Laboratories can perform custom testing for entrepreneurs and manufacturers looking for product development and quality control services for their food or beverage products.  Using a variety of analytical instruments and techniques, they are able to detect ingredients in a food or beverage formulation down to the parts per million or even parts per billion levels.  Some laboratories offer a variety of food and beverage testing services:

Food shelf life testing helps to identify how long a food or beverage product can last in a variety of temperature and humidity conditions before being consumed. This type of testing can also be used to find specifically what in a product may be causing it to go bad earlier than intended and identify ways to prolong the shelf life of a product.

Food packaging extractable and leachable testing - also known as food contact material analysis - is performed on the storage or packaging items that a food or beverage comes into contact with.  Not all food packaging materials are appropriate for all types of food storage, especially if your food or beverage is intended to be chilled or heated inside of its packaging. Extractable and leachable testing needs to be performed to make sure that toxic materials or chemicals do not leach out of the packaging.  This is a popular test when testing the safety of packaging materials.

Gluten and other food allergen testing is something that should be taken seriously by all food and beverage manufactures.  Avoiding this type of testing can have disastrous outcomes if a customer with severe allergies consumes an improperly labeled product that does not specifically identify that it contains an allergen.

Food safety and regulatory testing preformed in an analytical food laboratory can find harmful contaminants within a product like heavy metals and a variety of other particles that may cause safety concerns.  This type of testing can also help gain FDA, government, or industrial bodies that regulate the food and beverage industry’s approval for marketing and sale.

Nutrition label analysis is a routine testing that identifies and quantitates nutritional items within a food or beverage formulation.  This is more of a routine test and labels the content of materials like vitamins, calories, protein, fat, etc.

Food quality control testing is typically used as a preemptive step in preventing product failure problems down the road and often involves occasional or regular batch-to-batch variation testing.  This batch-to-batch testing takes a sample of the product typically on a weekly or monthly basis and analyses it to make sure that the product is not unintentionally varying over time, contaminated, or identifying other potential problems before they grow or the product is distributed. This helps eliminate problems faster and can identify if your raw material supplier is changing quality levels of their product. 

If this type of testing has not been being performed and you are facing a potential product recall or lawsuit, it can be used to hold future shipments temporarily, contact your distribution network, inform customers, test multiple batches, and to find the cause of the problem and develop a solution fast.  A non-routine independent testing laboratory that offers customized rush services and performs food analysis’s frequently is probably your best bet for reliable and speedy results.  Some of these laboratories also offer Food Litigation Support.  This kind of support can give you experienced expert witnesses and access to many types of detailed product analysis that you will need.

Food Failure analysis is typically very investigative and detailed work.  Typical questions solved by this type of testing usually involve finding the reasons behind an off-odor, off-color, a reduced shelf life, or identifying unknown contaminants, or a range of other problems.

About Avomeen:
Avomeen Analytical Services analytical testing laboratory is in Ann Arbor, MI.  Its nationwide food testing laboratory that specializes in solving difficult analytical questions, quality control, failure analysis, litigation support, and product development services.  Call today for a free consultation at (800) 930-5450 or request a quote online.


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