Food testing analyses are carried out professionally in chemical, instrumental and microbiological as well as molecular biological food laboratories to ensure the marketability and safety of food products.
From farm to fork – the food laboratories of the Tentamus Group ensure the food safety of your products in accordance with the applicable legal requirements and regulations.
Which methods are used for food testing?
- Microbiological Testing
Food must regularly undergo microbiological quality control. If food contains undesirable pathogenic contaminants, such as Salmonella or E.Coli, this can lead to spoilage and health consequences for the consumer. During microbiological testing, the contract laboratories of the Tentamus Group test your products for safety and marketability. This way, you as a food manufacturer can guarantee the safety of your products.
Please find further information here: Microbiological Testing
- Chemical Analyses
Chemical analyses are used to check the ingredients and nutritional values (fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, additives, etc.) of foodstuffs, as well as the accuracy of the information on the packaging. Within the framework of food quality control, our contract laboratories perform chemical food analysis. The analyses also include marketability tests, testing of value-determining components, and product-specific tests, such as for eat products or oils.
Please find further information here: Chemical Analyses
- Sensory Testing
Sensory testing of food products is performed with the aid of the human senses. Trained personnel examine the food product for appearance, texture, odor and taste. The characteristics of the products are analyzed according to scientific schemes. In this way, a well-founded quality control of the taste, smell, texture and appearance of a product is carried out.
Please find further information here: Sensory Testing
- Verification of Origin
Origin testing is performed to detect possible adulterations in food products or to confirm the authenticity of a food product. This form of food analysis is carried out by means of isotope analysis, as the so-called isotope ratios are almost unique in certain locations. The chemical properties of a product help to identify its origin and confirm the information on the label.
Please find further information here: Verification of Origin
- Contamination of Food
Contamination, and therefore contamination of food, can occur due to pathogenic microorganisms, allergens or chemical substances. To ensure food safety, food and feed are tested for the content of undesirable contaminants. These include Heavy metals, PCBs and other Mycotoxins, acrylamide in coffee, processed potato products and cereal products as well as the determination of process-related contamination of 3-MCPD fatty acid esters.
Please find further information here: Contamination of Food
- Residue Analysis
Residue analysis is used to ensure that foodstuffs and animal feeds do not contain any or only the maximum permissible levels of plant residues, such as pesticides, in accordance with legal regulations. These analyses are carried out by LC-GC (with different detection modules) and primarily on plant-based food products (fruit, vegetables, honey, etc.).
Please find further information here: Residue Analysis
Which foods require special attention?
Food testing of meat
The food testing of meat products includes the microbiological and chemical analysis by means of suitable, accredited methods, as well as verification of the labeling. Meat and sausage products are checked with regard to the legal requirements, as well as the requirements by GDCh criteria and DGHM guidelines.
The range of products in the meat industry is diverse. But no matter what form your product takes, we offer testing of all categories of meat products. Starting with raw materials and extending to dry products, chilled products, frozen or convenience goods, we ensure food safety standards are met.
Food testing of oil
The most common chemical parameters for assessing the freshness, quality and shelf life of fats and oils are classic fat properties such as acid value, peroxide value and anisidine value. They are determined titrimetrically and can account for sensory abnormalities. Further investigations include parameters such as volatile compounds at 105°C or variety-specific parameters such as the delta K values for olive oil.
- Sensory analysis of edible oil
Sensory analysis is one of the cornerstones in the evaluation of edible fats and oils. On the basis of odor and taste, conclusions can be drawn about the biological origin. Impressions such as rancidity provide initial indications of product quality and shelf life.
- How is the authenticity of an edible oil determined?
The examination of the authenticity of edible fats and oils is carried out by gas chromatography, whereby the concentrations of the fatty acid content are determined. Their composition is characteristic of the individual fats/oils, so that any admixtures/extensions can be detected by deviations. This qualitative analysis is also used to determine omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are important for a balanced diet. The composition of sterols, as well as tocopherols and tocotrienols can be determined as well, using gas chromatography and HPLC. These can provide further information on authenticity. The content of vitamin E is also a relevant factor in determining authenticity.
- Residues and impurities in edible oils
Production-related contamination with undesirable compounds can occur in edible fats, edible oils, oilseeds, nuts and the masses made from them, and can pose a threat to food safety. These include lead, glycidyl esters, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or mineral oil components. Residues of pesticides are also detected in the above-mentioned products as part of quality control in food analysis.
Food testing of vegetables and fruit
Fruits and vegetables are popular with consumers all year round and, as such, require special analytical care. Global trade makes it possible to offer almost every type of fruit and vegetable in supermarkets every day, regardless of the season. Consumers naturally expect not only the constant availability of these products but also their freshness and safety.
To meet consumer and retailer expectations, as well as regulatory requirements, farmers employ a number of control measures. These quality controls are designed to ensure that products are free of defects, filth, insects, and mold.
With our extensive network of contract laboratories in Europe, North America, Asia and Israel, we offer the following laboratory analyses for fruits and vegetables:
- Pre-market Testing (6-12h)
- Advice on regulatory framework (MRLs, local regulatory updates)
- Pesticide analysis for GLP/GMP studies (Ph. Eur. / USP) & registration purposes by GC, GC-MS, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS
- Analysis of polar pesticides (e.g. glyphosate, chlorate, perchlorate, TMS, phosphonic acid, ethephon, chlormequat)
- Analysis for nitrate by HPLC
- Method development & validation under GMP/GLP guidelines
- Evaluation of results according to European specifications for retail
Testing of processed food
With regard to the safety and quality of processed foods, appropriate refrigeration is essential for some products. Perishable foods in particular, such as meat and meat products or fish, are susceptible to the growth of undesirable microorganisms if not adequately refrigerated. Therefore, food manufacturers must carry out scheduled microbiological tests on these products to detect pathogenic contaminants such as listeria, campylobacter or salmonella. This also involves testing the accuracy of best-before dates (BBDs) by carrying out corresponding shelf-life tests.
Correct and consistent refrigeration of food also plays an important role in online retailing. Learn more about Food E-commerce with a safe cold chain according to DIN SPEC 91360.
Feed Testing (Animal Feed)
Animal feed is also part of the food chain and contributes to the food safety of the final products. This includes all animals kept by humans (farm animals as well as pets or even animals in zoos). Appropriate feeds are tailored to the specific animal species. To ensure the safety of humans and animals, especially farm animals, feed and its manufacturing processes are also controlled and monitored through testing. In this context, the nutrient composition is of particular importance to ensure the health and performance of the animals. Depending on the animal species, various vitamins and minerals play an important role in animal feed.
The proper marketing of animal feed is regulated by EU Regulation 767/2009.
In accordance with the requirements laid down in the Regulation, feed is analyzed in the laboratories for food and feed testing of the Tentamus Group. The following analyses and procedures are routinely performed:
- Verification of marketability
- Weender analysis as a standard procedure for determining the ingredients of feedstuffs
- Microbiological testing
- FEDIAF comparison (nutritional guideline for complete feeds for dogs and cats)
- Examination for undesirable substances such as pesticides, mycotoxins, dioxins
In the United States of America Feed and Food is regulated at both the federal and state levels. Routinely performed analyses are:
- Guaranteed Analysis (AAFCO)
- Microbiological testing
- Testing for pesticide levels, mycotoxins, and dioxins
Analysis of Novel Food
Novel food products are foods or ingredients that were not “used to any significant degree” for human consumption in the EU before May 15, 1997. Accordingly, products marketed in the EU after that date are considered novel. Among other things, they are registered in the EU Novel Food Catalogue. Before these products can be sold on the market in the European Union, they must undergo a safety assessment in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2283 and be released.
Tentamus food laboratories test Novel Food products for its marketability and correct labeling of the packaging.
For more information on the topic of Novel Food, please refer to our blog article: What are Novel Foods?
The requirements for the analysis of drinking water (incl. sampling) are regulated in the Drinking Water Ordinance (TrinkwV) and also contribute to food safety.
In addition to “classic” water supply systems (e.g. municipal water suppliers), drinking water installations (domestic installations) in public facilities and in objects where drinking water is supplied for commercial purposes, as well as in food processing plants from which water is supplied for human consumption, and cooling tower water installations are also part of the ordinance and must therefore be inspected as part of self-monitoring.
Sampling and testing of water must be carried out by laboratories approved for this purpose.
The laboratories for water analysis of the Tentamus Group offer you the analysis of the complete spectrum of analyzable microorganisms and chemical parameters according to the Drinking Water Ordinance.
Please find further information about Water Testing here: Water Testing
Analyses On Genetic Engineering (label “without genetic engineering (GMO)”)
The “VLOG Food without Genetic Engineering” seal is issued in accordance with the EC Genetic Engineering Implementation Act for the labeling of foodstuffs without the “use of genetic engineering processes” in production. The VLOG Association (Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik e.V.) issues the licenses to use the seal. Companies in feed production and management, agriculture, and food processing and manufacturing can apply for the seal.
The following product groups are eligible for testing:
- Grain and potato products
- Meat and sausage products
- Dairy products
As an independent inspection company, Tentacontrol monitors compliance with the requirements for the “Ohne Gentechnik” seal in the form of on-site audits.
Here you can find more information about Tentacontrol.
Food testing for flavor enhancers, colorants and additives (EXXX)
Additives are used in food for various reasons. For example, they protect against spoilage or ensure consistent stability and quality.
Food colorants are considered additives and are used to color food mainly for aesthetic reasons. The approval of colorants or additives is regulated in Regulation (EC) No. 1333/2008. According to this regulation, about 40 substances are currently approved. In the laboratories of the Tentamus Group, foodstuffs can be tested for the addition of colorants using HPLC methods.
Sweeteners in food can also be determined in our laboratories by means of HPLC.
Preservatives are used to increase the shelf life of food and feed. Qualitative and quantitative determination of preservatives in the food laboratories of Tentamus helps to comply with the legally regulated maximum values.
The labeling of additives on food labels is carried out in accordance with the Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008.
For complete analyses on nutritional facts, our contract laboratories determine the ingredients relevant for labeling according to the law with the help of chemical analyses.
- Calorific value
- Total fat
- Saturated fatty acids
Additionally, we offer the following nutritional analyses:
- Big 4, Big 7 and Big 8
- Fatty acid spectrum
- Dietary fiber
- Mineral and vitamin content
For the US the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP) includes, but is not limited to, the following core nutritional values:
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrates
- Dietary Fiber
- Total Sugars (and added Sugars)
- Vitamin D
Our team specializing in labeling can also assist you in creating proper nutritional tables. Learn more in the following section.
Tentamus Service: Labelling of Food and Feed Products
Positive results from food analyses alone do not qualify a product for marketability. For food manufacturers, compliance with labelling regulations also plays a key role. The labels on the food or feed are the first impression on the customer and contribute to the purchase decision. Therefore, it is even more important to provide all relevant information (in addition to legal requirements).
At Tentamus Group, an international team of experts supports your company in ensuring that the declaration on the packaging is correct and complies with the law. In addition, our team can also verify the correct presentation of your product in online retail.
An important and often critical aspect of food labelling are so-called “health claims”. Here, too, our team supports you in the correct use and can verify the statements of the health claims with the help of regular food testing.
Please find more information on labelling in the following blog posts:
Tentamus Service: Hygiene and Quality Assurance
Food safety is ensured not only by analysis of products in the laboratory, but also by hygiene in the company. According to the EU Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004, a food business operator (production, processing or distribution) is obliged to set up measures and concepts (HACCP) for operational hygiene, to implement and document them, and thus to ensure the safety of employees as well as food and feed.
With the help of our experienced and competent auditors and trainers, we support you in implementing a “Good Manufacturing Practice” (GMP) in your company and in preparing it for official inspections.
In the following link you can find more information about hygiene consulting: https://www.tentamus.com/services/hygiene-consulting/
Overview of Analytical Laboratories for the Analysis of Food & Feed of the Tentamus Group
The following laboratories of the Tentamus Group offer food and feed testing:
- Laemmegroup – Moncalieri – www.laemmegroup.it
- Renolab – San Giorgi di Piano – www.renolab-glp.com
- Tentamus Agriparadigma – Ravenna, Signa & Syracusa – www.agriparadigma.it
- aromalab – Martinsried www.aromalab.de
- BAV INSTITUT – Offenburg – www.bav-institut.de
- bilacon Labor für Lebensmittel und Hygiene – Berlin und Rheda-Wiedenbrück – www.bilacon.com
- chelab – Hanover – www.chelab.de
- lifeprint – Illertissen –www.lifeprint.de
- QSI – Quality Services International – Bremen – www.qsi-q3.com
- Tentamus Greater China – Shanghai, Hainan, Fuzhou, Taipei, Kaohsiung – www.tentamus.com/china
- Veltia – Thessaloniki, Athens, Volos –www.veltialabs.gr
- Tentamus Japan – Yokohama – www.isotope-lab.com
- Kudam – Alicante – www.kudam.com
- LAB – Almeria & Huelva – www.lab-sl.com
- Labocor Analitica – Madrid – www.labocoranalitica.es
- Laboratorio Control – Madrid – www.laboratoriocontrol.es
- Laboratorio Tello – Jaén – www.laboratoriotello.com
- bilacon Labor für Lebensmittel und Hygiene – Rotterdam – www.bilacon.com
- Minerva Scientific – Spondon – www.minervascientific.co.uk
- One Scientific – Bristol – onescientific.co.uk
- QTS Analytical – Sittingbourne – www.qtsanalytical.com
- SMS Labs – Wellington – www.smslab.co.uk
USA & CANADA:
- Adamson Analytical Laboratories – Corona, CA (USA) – www.adamsonlab.com
- AFL – Grand Prairie, TX – afltexas.com
- American Testing Lab – San Diego, CA – www.american-testing.com
- ARL – Lehi & Washington, UT; St. Petersburg, FL – www.analyticalresource.com
- Columbia Laboratories – Portland, OR – www.columbialaboratories.com
- EPL Bio Analytical Services – Niantic, IL – eplbas.com
- Labofine – Pointe Claire (CAN) – www.labofine.com
- Nova Biologicals – Conroe, TX – www.novatx.com
- QSI America – Corona, CA – www.qsi-america.com
- Tentamus North America – Fredericksburg, VA – www.tentamus.com
Please get in touch with our experts. We’re happy to help: +49 30 206 038 230 / firstname.lastname@example.org