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.
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.
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 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
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 in food testings. In this context, the nutrient composition is of particular importance to ensure the health, but also the performance of the animals. Depending on the animal species, various vitamins and minerals play an important role in animal feed.
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 USA 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
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.
Tentamus food laboratories test Novel Food products for its marketability and correct labeling of the packaging.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The following laboratories of the Tentamus Group offer food and feed testing: