Which methods
are used for food testing?

  • Microbiological Analysis

    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.

    More information on Microbiological Analysis
  • 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.

    More information on 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.

    More information on 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.

    More information on 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
    • Determination of process-related contamination of 3-MCPD fatty acid esters
    More information on 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.).

    More information on 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.

  • 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
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 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
The proper marketing of animal feed is regu­lated by EU Regu­la­tion 767/2009.

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.

Water Testing

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.

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
  • Eggs
  • Bever­ages

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.

Nutritional Analysis

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.

These include:

  • Calorific value
  • Total fat
  • Satu­rated fatty acids
  • Carbo­hy­drates
  • Sugar
  • Protein
  • Salt

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:

  • Energy
  • Total Fat
    • Satu­rated Fat
    • Trans Fat
  • Choles­terol
  • Sodium
  • Total Carbo­hy­drates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Total Sugars (and added Sugars)
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potas­sium

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.

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.

Overview of
Laboratories for Food & Feed Analysis

The following labo­ra­to­ries of the Tentamus Group offer food and feed testing:

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