Chemical analysis and physico-chemical analysis are qualitative analyses for the study of raw materials, food, feed, agrochemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. A variety of tests are performed for analytics, including the analysis of a product’s ingredients and the exact amount of them. The pH value, density, ethanol content, etc. of the product are also determined. The results of these analyses are part of the process of verifying a product’s marketability and help with labeling. In addition, we use these results to develop individual testing plans tailored to each customer.
Service overview of our chemical analysis laboratories
The Tentamus Group laboratory network covers the following services and contract analysis:
- Labeling tests to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines such as the FIC (Food Information Regulation). The requirements for the labeling of food, food supplements or cosmetics have increased considerably in recent years. Consumers are increasingly interested in contained fragrances, traceability, food origin or animal welfare in the production of the products. Comprehensive labeling tests help to give consumers transparency about the product, thus protecting product recalls and preserving brand reputation.
- Complete nutritional analyses in which ingredients relevant to food labeling are identified.
- Verification of the general marketability of your products from the consumer’s point of view. Packaging, possible damage and product quality are assessed from an objective point of view, and feedback is offered for improvement.
- Weender feed analysis, which detects macronutrients in a food product. In this analysis, polymers such as moisture, ash, crude protein, crude fat and crude fiber are measured through chemical reactions and experiments. Carbohydrates are then determined using the same analysis, based on a calculation using the five other nutrients mentioned above.
- Quantitative Ingredient Declaration (QUID) testing of the value-determining portions in your product: these are ingredients that are named in the product name and therefore must be declared quantitatively in the ingredient list.
Product-specific testing is performed by the Tentamus Group on a variety of food, feed, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Common examples are meat products, oils, dairy products, skin care products, dental and oral care, medicines, etc.
You are not sure which chemical analysis you need?
Take a look at our service overview for the specific product groups:
Chemical analyses of foodstuffs and food supplements
Analysis of edible fats, oils, oilseeds, nuts and their mixtures
- Edible fats, edible oils, oilseeds, nuts and mixtures made from them are products with high fat content. The fat they contain is often nutritionally valuable. This and the characteristic taste, especially of virgin oils, explain the high popularity of these products among consumers. As a carrier of flavor, fat is crucial to the quality of these products and therefore plays the main role in quality control. The fat content can be used to determine the authenticity and freshness of an oil.
Chemical analysis of meat products
- Similar to oils, meat is commonly subjected to physio-chemical tests to ensure that the meat sold is of high quality and to ensure compliance with the strict regulations that govern the meat industry.
Verification of nutritional values for all products. Special attention is paid to products with strict labeling requirements, such as dietary supplements. Nutritional analysis is performed using the following methods:
- Fat is measured by nuclear magnetic resonance. In this method, a food sample is shot with high-frequency pulses, causing its protons to flip. After the radiofrequency stops, fat signals can be picked up because the magnetic waves of fat are slowed down compared to the other nutrients.
- Protein is calculated using the Kjeldahl method. The Kjeldahl method captures the nitrogen content of a food, and almost all nitrogen content in foods is protein.
- The carbohydrates in a food are determined, for example, by the Benedict test. This uses a solution that changes color depending on the amount and type of carbohydrate found in the sample.
- Other methods are used to detect, for example, vitamin D (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) or vitamin A (colorimetry with animon trichloride).
The product is labeled as a result of the analysis and made marketable. Attention is paid to the country of marketing, as different regulations apply to different industries. According to EU law, the product must be labeled as follows:
- Name information that objectively defines the content of the food
- Exact list of ingredients, which contains the 14 allergens
- The product quantity must be indicated in units or the weight in grams or kg. For liquids, it must be indicated in ML or liters
- For packaged foods, a best before date must be provided.
- Include the company name and address of the manufacturer in case the consumer has questions
- Indicate the batch number from which the batch of goods originated. This will help identify where the product was manufactured, produced and packaged
- Nutrition labeling is mentioned in a table that indicates the caloric value of the food and the amount of at least carbohydrates, protein and fat per 100 g or 100 ml.
For more information on labeling, see the following blog posts:
In addition, we also examine your food as well as feed with regard to nutritional analysis:
With the FIC, the previously voluntary decision to declare nutritional values has become mandatory as of December 13, 2014. We offer support in the implementation of this regulation, whereby the following 6 units must be declared in addition to the calorific value:
- Total fat
- Saturated fatty acids
The United States has different labeling requirements than Europe. These can be found in the FDA’s Guidance for Industry: Guidance for Industry: Food Labelling Guide
Nutritional analyses performed by Tentamus Group laboratories
- Big 4: The Big 4 consist of the main nutrients found in a food – calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates.
- Big 7: The Big 7 extrapolates to the Big 4, which includes carbohydrates, fats, fiber, minerals, proteins, vitamins and water.
- Big 8: The Big 8 also extrapolates to the Big 4. It includes energy, protein, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, saturated fats, fiber, and sodium and salt.
- Fats: There are a variety of fats. The most important are saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature, and unsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature. These fats are measured by analytical methods based on gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
- Fatty acid spectrum: The fatty acid spectrum indicates which types of fat make up the fat content of a product. The fat content of a product is divided into saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. For example, the fatty acid profile of avocado oil would contain 76% monounsaturated, 12% polyunsaturated and 12% saturated fatty acids.
- Protein: The protein content of a food determines the amount of amino acids in the food. They are tested by the Kjeldahl method, which quantifies the amount of nitrogen contained in a substance. Since most of the nitrogen in proteins is food, this gives the tester an accurate indication of the protein content.
- Sugar: Benedict’s solution is used to test for simple sugars (e.g., glucose-fructose and galactose). This solution is clear blue in its natural state and changes color relative to the amount of sugar to which it is exposed.
- Dietary Fiber: To test for dietary fiber, the food sample is tested using an enzymatic gravimetric method that mimics and simulates the digestive process of the human small intestine. The sum of insoluble and soluble dietary fiber
mineral and vitamin contents are determined, as are trace elements of foreign substances such as heavy metals and allergens.
The marketability of the products is determined within the framework of the above-mentioned procedures. Good product marketability allows manufacturers to make the promise that their product is qualitatively safe and accurate, and this transparency then reduces the number of product recalls, preserving the reputation of the manufacturer’s brand.
Which regulations must be observed in physical chemistry?
The following FIC regulations (Food Information Regulation) are observed during testing:
- Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers.
- Regulation (EU) 2018/775 on the indication of primary ingredients or place of origin.
- Regulation (EC) No. 834/2007 on organic production and labeling of products
- Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims
- Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2283, which is the Novel Food Regulation for foods that have not been consumed in the EU for a long time.
Chemical analyses of animal feed
To ensure the health of humans and animals in the food chain, feed analyses are also carried out. Feedstuffs are tested for their properties, and the feed production process is monitored. The ultimate goal is to guarantee animals a life in good health. The safety of feed can only be guaranteed through increased quality controls. Regulation 767/2009 regulates the placing on the market and use of feed. It also provides improved information contain the method of analysis according to Weender and FEDIAF, which sets regulations for dog and cat food.
- Weender analysis: also known as proximate analysis, is a method for quantitative analysis of macronutrients in food. It is a very old test method that dates back to 1865. In this test method, a food is separated and then analyzed for the following 6 compounds:
- Ash (potassium, sodium, iron, calcium, etc.)
- Crude protein
- Crude Lipid
- Crude fiber
- Nitrogen-free extracts (digestible carbohydrates)
- FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry Federation): ensures that pet foods are properly labeled and that they are safe and wholesome for consumption by pets. The guideline that FEDIAF uses is based on the 31 EU regulations that are designed to ensure the quality of pet food.
Chemical analysis of cosmetic products
The Tentamus Group offers a wide range of chemical analyses for cosmetics and raw materials. These analyses guarantee the safety and harmlessness of your product and serve to fulfill the requirements of the EU (VO) 1223/2009 (EU Cosmetics Regulation).
Also in the context of the preparation of the safety report of a product, examinations of the raw materials as well as of the final product are necessary.
The following parameters can be tested:
- Value-giving ingredients
- coenzyme Q10
- Substances subject to maximum quantity regulations and declaration requirements
- UV filters etc.
In the physico-chemical tests we check, among other things:
- pH value
- water activity (aW-value)
- Fat parameters (acid value, peroxide value, saponification value, fatty acid distribution etc.) .
Furthermore, we perform stability tests to predict the shelf life of a product. Stability and shelf life data are also mandatory in the preparation of the safety report. Here, the products are stored at different temperatures for several months and the quality is assessed on the basis of selected parameters before or after completion of storage. Sensory quality (appearance, odor, consistency) and possible changes to the packaging material also play a major role here.
Chemical analyses of pharmaceuticals
In the GMP-certified laboratories of the Tentamus Group, pharmaceuticals and medical devices are tested in accordance with legal requirements. Here, our laboratories test according to national and international pharmacopoeias such as DAB, DAC, HAB, Ph. Eur., USP, BP and JP. The Tentamus Group network enables smooth project management.
Using state-of-the-art analytical techniques such as ICP-MS, HPLC-MS, GC-MS and NMR, experts analyze starting materials, active ingredients, sterile and non-sterile pharmaceuticals, as well as particularly regulated products such as narcotics and cytostatics.
In addition to standardized pharmacopoeial methods, new methods are also developed and adapted to your requirements and validated.
Please find further information on Pharmaceutical Testing here: Pharmaceutical Testing
How is the sampling for chemical analysis done?
To ensure test accuracy, samples are selected from a population using random methods. If 1 kg of a food product is required, samples are selected from different product batches to ensure test accuracy and consistent results. When the customer sends in the samples, they are personally responsible for ensuring that the samples are randomly selected. However, the Tentamus Group also offers to pick up the samples at the customer’s location if the consumer wishes to use this service.
It is important that the sample remains fresh during the transport phase of sample collection. To solve this problem, Tentamus Group uses airtight plastic bags and a valid cold chain with dry ice and cold packs.
How long does a chemical analysis take?
Custom spectra are prepared taking into account the individual requirements of each customer. Therefore, the analysis time frame for physico-chemical contract analysis varies widely. However, the standard spectrum of tests is completed in 3-5 working days, although it may take longer depending on the scope of the customer’s requirements.
Tentamus Group offers chemical and physio-chemical analysis. Our range of methods includes:
- Chromatographic methods: the separation of a mixture into the individual ingredients that make up the mixture. This allows the isolation and purification of a single ingredient so that it can be tested by chemical methods
- Mass spectrometry: used to identify trace molecules in food, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics using a mass spectrometer. These substances may include allergens, heavy metals, contaminants or pesticide residues. During this process, ionization takes place, which allows the product to be broken down into all its individual components, which are then measured.
Spectral analysis: identifies the amounts of contaminants or impurities.
- X-ray fluorescence analysis: detects trace elements in food and uncovers food fraud. Also determines the nutrient content of a food.
- FTIR spectroscopy: Fourier transform infrared (AKA) analysis examines food for anomalies and compares a sample to a benchmark. For example, when testing a milk sample, the results are combined and compared to normal milk. Any discrepancies between the two samples are detected, alerting the laboratory tester to perform further testing to determine the cause of the abnormality.
- Thermal gravimetric: food is placed in a thermal chamber where its heat is monitored as the temperature rises. This is done to assess the stability of the food material and to see how much moisture is lost at different temperature limits. The heat acts as a catalyst to accelerate the chemical reaction of dehydration of the product.
Titrimetric Analysis: Allows the amount of a reactant in a sample to be determined. It can be used to detect vitamin or mineral concentrations that affect the color of a food product.
- Enzymatic analysis: is a method for measuring compounds such as sugars, acids, alcohols and other metabolites in a food.
- Preparative gravimetric: e.g. sieve analyses are methods that determine the structural clarification of a powder. For this purpose, a sample is sieved through wire mesh, which separates it into different size ranges.
How can we help you as a manufacturer or retailer?
We can offer you label testing on a broad basis. For example, we test all common foods for general consumption (e.g. staple foods, tea, coffee, ready meals, confectionery, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, etc.). We can also assist you in checking the labeling of infant food, food supplements as well as tobacco and pet food.
Furthermore, we are your competent partner for the verification of the labeling of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, as well as WPR articles.
For the marketing of foodstuffs, all necessary requirements for the national and international market are examined in the product group within the scope of qualitative and quantitative analysis.
In summary, through the final preparation of an expert report, we offer a tangible, helpful quality control of the examined sample, which contains the exact assessment of the marketability of your product and points out any deviations in this respect. The qualitative safety for you as a customer and the health safety for the consumer are always in the focus of our interest.
What do we check for?
We check for compliance with legal requirements regarding language specifications, requirements for the field of vision and minimum font sizes. In doing so, we always check compliance with European law and, depending on the product, also with national law.
At the national level, these are the pre-packaging regulations for special food categories (e.g. cheese regulations, jam regulations) and the guidelines of the German Food Code.
How can we help with e-commerce?
If you want to sell your products via e-commerce, then the food law requirements for labeling must also be complied with in this case. Here, too, we can advise you or check your online store for compliance with the legal requirements.
Using modern analytical techniques, the Tentamus laboratories determine the composition, nutrient content or selected parameters to characterize the product quality. Product conformity is also ensured in accordance with legal requirements.
What services can Tentamus offer you beyond the usual tests?
For any questions that arise – for example, about current product requirements or test results – we will be happy to provide you with information and advice. Due to our experience within the product group, on which many well-known customers already rely, we can also advise you on special and technological questions if required.
If you are dependent on timely analyses for contract analysis, we can offer you the possibility of determining relevant parameters at short notice thanks to the valid rapid analysis methods established in our company.
Proximity to you as a customer is our top priority, and we are always open to new questions and challenges.