The primary goals of food testing are to ensure that food is safe for consumption, that it meets specifications laid down by regulatory bodies and customers, and that the claims made on product labels are correct.
Food Testing Services:
Food-related regulations specify that for all packaged food items the composition and nutritional values be declared on the label. With greater ease, of making healthier food choices, the nutritional labeling testing concept developed in India and today it is mandatory that nutritional information of almost all processed foods should be displayed on food items.
Appropriate analysis and nutritional labeling are important to approve a food product for sale in the market by the government regulatory bodies. Nutritional information on the label also helps the consumers to make choices for healthy foods by comparing the nutritional ingredients between different brands. It acts as an important source of information to consumers with specific needs like infants, old aged, and also about allergens, intolerances like sugar, citrus, lactose, etc.
Nutritional facts on the product labels are mandatory on almost all food products. This follows the implementation of the FDA Nutrition Labelling and Education Act (NLEA).
Eureka offers precise and reliable analysis for Nutritional labeling and also supports label claims for manufacturers, retailers, importers, and exporters that can help with compliance, address consumer concerns and create awareness in the minds of consumers.
We provide consultation on labeling requirements to help you ascertain the tests that need to be conducted for nutritional content like:
- Calorific value
- Saturated Fatty Acids
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Find out more about our individual testing services that can use to help you remain compliant and your customers satisfied.
Pesticides are well-known as potentially toxic compounds to humans. Health effects may be acute or delayed in those who are exposed. Long-term exposure to pesticides may cause severe health complications, such as occupational exposure to the organic pesticide namely, rotenone has been linked with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Nowadays consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits is increased in quantities but it is this fresh produce that is most vulnerable to pesticide residues. Extreme use of pesticides/fertilizers in farming for the production of excessive food products especially fruits, vegetables, and many other crops can lead to habitat loss. This leads to potential risks to food safety by entering the food chain.
Consumer concerns and government regulations are increasingly focusing on the safety of foods. However, there are many regulatory hurdles and strategic difficulties that can cause costly time-to-market delays in the industry. Our experts can help you to overcome these challenges through analysis and implementation of our Quality Assurance expertise. Pesticide residue analysis identifies the residue levels in food products by performing standard chemical and microbiological tests by giving food manufacturers, producers, and exporters assurance of their product ingredients.
At Eureka, we offer reliable, accurate, and well-established quantitative methods to meet the needs of industry and government, in an effort to ensure a safe and reliable food supply. We lay emphasis on the most sensitive techniques for sample preparation and testing to overcome the significant challenge of detecting “low levels of these chemicals” in complex matrices by performing express analytics within 24-48 hour-testing
We perform chromatographic techniques such as LC/MS/MS and GC/MS/MS systems and all methods have been developed and validated in compliance with the latest USFDA, CODEX, and other national and international requirements for rapid screening of pesticide residues in various foodstuffs.
Pesticide residue analysis,
o As per EU
o As per APEDA
o As per USP 561
o As per FSSAI
o AS per SFDA
o As per Codex
o As per Korean regulation
o As per EP
o As per USDA NOP for organic
o As per US NOP for organic food
o Special molecules & Plant growth regulators
Food contaminants are well-defined as spoiled or tainted foods because they either contain microorganisms, such as bacteria or parasites, or toxic substances that make them unfit for consumption. A food contaminant can be either biological, chemical, or physical in nature, with the former being more common. These contaminants have several routes throughout the supply chain (farm to fork) to enter which makes the food product unfit for consumption.
It is evidently acknowledged, “food contamination that occurs in one place may affect the health of consumers living on the other side of the planet”. Contamination issues are volatile both in terms of their nature and size, and as such can be costly in terms of lost productivity and vastly negotiated timeframes. An initial solution for the contamination issue is mandatory, it is essential that the solution is long-lasting and that confidence to restore the ongoing productivity.
Contamination of fresh produce is emerging as a major food safety challenge. Eureka’s expertise is well experienced in identifying a wide range of contamination occurring from production lines to processes. Our team offers precise and reliable contamination testing and identification by using analytical techniques such as HPLC, GC, GC-MS, LC-MS-MS, GC-MS-MS, GC-HS-MS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, FTIR, ELISA, PCR, UV-VIS, NMR and much more accordingly. The contamination testing laboratory has vast experience and expert insight quickly determines the accurate analytical approach to employ to solve a wide range of contamination issues faced by customers, exporters & manufacturers.
Our testing service can determine trace levels of contaminants which includes,
• Heavy Metals
• Mycotoxins and more
At every stage of the food supply chain, maintaining hygiene, preventing spoilage, and avoiding contamination are essential priorities for processors, exporters, manufacturers, and retailers. Protecting consumer health by testing for the presence of harmful micro-organisms in your food products can be achieved with reliable microbial analysis.
This analysis can ensure the constant safety of food products along the supply chain. Monitoring of efficient microbes which may be present during production or in the final product is similarly essential.
Our team of experts uses cutting-edge technology to test for the presence of pathogens and help consumers assess the safety and efficacy of ingredients, semi-manufactured foods, final products, and the entire processing steps or supply chain.
An extensive range of testing methods is offered to assess the safety of food matrices, including traditional techniques such as cell culture with selective agars and other biochemical assays, which are time-consuming processes, as well as advanced approaches like spectroscopy chromatography, PCR, VIDAS, and many more. Additionally, detecting the presence of harmful microbes like food-borne pathogens, allergens, and food fraud is much easier and more precise with DNA-based biomolecular technologies.
The list of microbial tests includes those for
- Total Plate Count
- Yeast & Mold
- Escherichia coli and O157 :H7
- Salmonella species
- Lactic Acid Bacteria
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Bacillus cereus
- Shigella species
- Spore-forming Mesophilic bacteria
- Spore-forming Thermophilic bacteria
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Clostridium species
- Cronobacter sakazakki
- Listeria monocytogenes & spp
- Thermophilic Flat sour spore formers
- Vibrio cholerae
- Vibrio parahaemolyticus
- Fecal streptococci
- MS2 Phage
- GMO & cotton GMO by RT PCR
- Salmonella by RT PCR
- Sesame allergen by RT PCR
- Vegan test by RT PCR
- Alicyclobacillus (TAB)
- Heat resistance mold
- Helminth eggs in wastewater
- EN 1276 – Evaluation of the bactericidal activity of chemical disinfectants
- EN 13697 – Chemical disinfectants and antiseptics – Quantitative non-porous surface test for the evaluation of bactericidal and/or fungicidal activity
- AATCC 100 – Antimicrobial fabric test
- AATCC 147 – Antimicrobial Activity of Textile Materials
In addition, we offer shelf life and stability analysis as well as special developments including verifications, validation, challenge
studies, and more.
It is mandatory for a food producer to declare a “best before” or “use by” date for “safety” and “health” reasons. The “health” reason is applicable to food that is intended by the manufacturer to form the sole source of nutrition for a person’s diet for a specified period. This will apply where storage affects the critical nutrient profile of products such as infant formula or special dietary foods manufactured to provide the sole source of nutrition to persons who are ill or are unable to eat normal foods.
The “safety” reason is applicable to food that can become microbiologically unsafe before the food noticeably spoils. This will not apply to shelf-stable, frozen or most raw foods but may apply to certain chilled ready-to-eat foods, for example, chilled meals and salads. The development of “use by” dates for safety reasons is discussed below. A “best before” date is applicable to food where deterioration affects consumer acceptance without impacting health and safety. Many product changes will affect consumer acceptance, including:
- Organoleptic properties
- Texture changes
- Moisture loss
- Moisture gain
- Flavor loss
- Light induced changes
- Microbial spoilage
Species identification in food products has been the subject of an increasing number of reports because of its importance in food authentication and due to major advances in analytical methods.
Species identification is an important part in food authentication for several reasons, such as food safety, food choice, and religious practices. The presence of non-declared protein may have serious health consequences for persons suffering from an allergy. Animal-derived ingredients have to be absent in foods for vegetarians and vegans.
Species identification has traditionally been based on morphological data and implemented in dichotomous identification keys. With easy access to increasingly affordable DNA sequencing, specimens can also be identified through sequence similarity in taxonomically curated sequence databases. Even a very short stretch of DNA can be sufficiently informative to enable the clustering of conspecific species. A single molecular marker is therefore often sufficient for DNA “barcoding,” where a unique sequence of a particular marker is referred to as a species barcode.
The quality and safety of food packaging and other food contact-related materials, is a primary concern for all consumers, businesses, and governments across the global supply chain. We offer consultation and testing on the requirements of the package materials as per IS – 9845, IS – 10171, IS – 15392 and FSSAI
- Overall migration testing
- Color migration
- Toxic metals
- Polyaromatic amine
- Sensory analysis
- Overall product safety analysis
- Restricted substance testing – Bisphenol A
This refers to genetically altered crops that are grown in many areas around the globe. Genetic engineering provides the ability to confer desired traits on plants such as herbicide tolerance and/ or virus or insect resistance.
GMO food/ feed testing is based on some fundamental principles of genetic engineering and cellular physiology:
- DNA: The introduction of foreign DNA into a recipient plant’s DNA (genetic engineering)
- Protein: The information coded in DNA is translated into a protein that performs the function specified by the DNA instructions (cellular physiology)
GMO screening is required because agricultural products that contain GMO ingredients can unintentionally mix with non-GMO foods and feed
GMO detection is required to detect such cross-contamination across the entire supply chain.
Food sensory analysis is the use of the human senses to objectively analyze foods – for properties such as taste, flavor and texture. It is used in assessing the quality of products, troubleshooting problems and new product development.
What does the food actually look and taste like? Describing the taste of a food in a scientific way that can be interpreted by others and then using this to improve product quality in some way is a valuable and perhaps under–appreciated technique. Sensory analysis can be broken down into three sub-sections:
- Analytical testing (dealing with objective facts about products)
- Affective testing (dealing with subjective facts such as preferences)
- Perception (the biochemical and psychological aspects of sensation)
Eureka has a team of experienced food tasters who can evaluate the flavor, odour and texture characteristics of products. Advanced statistical analysis then allows products to be grouped, and their similarities and differences quantified. These analyses can also be ‘checked’ as per customer’s Internal document and/ or National and International document to verify if the product meets requirements.
Food allergens are typically naturally-occurring proteins in foods or derivatives of them that cause abnormal immune responses. Prevalence of food allergies around the world is believed to be increasing, with more than 8% of children and 2% of adults in different countries and having allergy to one or more foods. The most common allergens for young children are milk and egg but fortunately, many children outgrow these allergies by the time they have reached 5-7 years of age. On the other hand, allergies such as those to seafood, peanut and tree nut may develop later and are lifelong conditions. Commonly known allergens are as follows:
- Celery and products thereof
- Sesame seeds
- Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
- Lupin and products thereof
- Molluscs and products thereof
Eureka can help food producers to do a Food Label verification and check the label for compliance with different National and International regulations.
The basic elements on a food packaging label usually include (unless the producers are exempt from labeling their product) :
- Statement of identity
- The product’s net weight
- Manufacturer’s address
- Nutrition facts
- This is probably the most complicated part of a food label and must usually include serving size, nutrients, vitamins and minerals
- There are strict guidelines and less strict recommendations as to the font colors, type, size, background colors, hairlines and placement of this part of the label
- Ingredients list
- Some exceptions apply here as well. For example, for a single-ingredient food product, such as honey, you may not need to include an ingredients list. This is only a small example of how complex labeling regulations can be and how carefully you need to inform yourself in order to accurately present your product to the consumers
- Allergens, if present in food, should always be listed with the ingredients. If you are making any health claims such as “fat-free” you need to make sure your claim is 100% accurate.
Like food materials for human beings, animal feeds also need to undergo testing. Tests in animal feeds include the following:
- Amino acid
- Chloride/ Salt
- Drugs and antibiotics
- Crude fiber
- Microscopic analysis
- Melamine detection
- Pepsin digestibility
- TDN or Total Digestible Nutrients
Adulteration has been around for thousands of years, however the 2007 melamine crisis in China was the first widely reported incidence of animals and babies falling ill en masse. To help protect consumers around the globe, we at Eureka can help food business operators and consumers with the tools to detect adulteration and prevent this threat.
Quick reference to adulteration test at customer site: https://fssai.gov.in/dart/
Examples of adulteration:
- Argemone & papaya Seeds being used in mustard seeds could cause epidemic dropsy and severe glaucoma
- Starch being added to give rich texture to paneer, khoya & condensed milk and could cause stomach disorders
- Pepper oil is added to ice cream which would cause kidney, lung and heart diseases
- Coffee Powder is adulterated with tamarind seeds. Chicory powder is used as coloring agent & to add weight
- Injectable dyes in watermelon, peas, capsicum, brinjal, papaya seeds
- Sudan dyes which are meant to be used for coloring plastics and synthetic materials, are being used as coloring agents in food like red chili and other products. Sudan dyes have been identified as carcinogenic for humans and can pose severe health hazards
- Milk could be found adulterated by adding water or by removing the cream or by adding artificial coloring agents like annatto, caramel, coal tar colors and preservatives like formaldehyde, boric & other acids etc
- Meat & eggs could be found adulterated by adding preservatives like potassium nitrate, boric & other acids etc. Coloring matter like aniline red and cochineal-carmine is usually added colors
- In vegetables, malachite green is used for bright glowing green color which may be carcinogenic for humans
- Martius yellow is used to enhance the yellow color of food substances. It can be carcinogenic and could cause stomach disorders