The Importance of Laboratory Testing for Food Production
Food testing in a laboratory is a vital part of the food industry and the overall food production process. For the sake of all parties — the consumers and producers — it’s important to ensure that all of the food that is sold and eaten meets testing standards.
Alliant Food Safety Labs offers laboratory testing for food production to ensure that foods are meeting all safety, quality, and sustainability requirements by the FDA. Additionally, we are also here to help you exceed these standards and look toward the future by utilizing the industry’s latest technology and developments. Learn more about why it is important to test food products in laboratories and then order your certified laboratory tests for foods from Alliant today.
What Is Laboratory Food Testing?
Before we get into what makes the process important, it’s best we give a quick overview of what exactly food testing in a laboratory consists of. Laboratory testing for food production is the process of examining food in a lab for potential contamination, toxins, pathogens, and more, whether they are naturally occurring or not. Many different tests are available and are conducted to ensure that food products are safe to eat.
The food industry has strict food safety standards that must be adhered to at all times. In the United States, this is handled by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). When food products are not tested in a laboratory, there is no way of knowing if they will cause foodborne illnesses or not. For this reason, it is important that the FDA requires that laboratories test all food products before they go on the market so people can safely enjoy them without the fear of getting sick.
In tandem with the safety standards, the FDA also requires that food products follow certain quality standards as well. This is to ensure that food is protected from contamination, damage, and more, that could deter someone from wanting to purchase the item. The goal with quality food standards is to make sure that all food that is produced is of high quality so that it is either eaten or used to make other foods one day. Because of this, meeting and exceeding quality standards is a great way to reduce overall food waste.
For the past few decades, industries have been paying more and more attention to the importance of sustainability. In an effort to reduce food waste and other negative impacts on the environment that food production causes, there are certain lab tests that can be done to ensure that production is meeting sustainability standards. In some cases, the FDA actually does require certain sustainability standards as well.
The FDA has rightfully strict guidelines that all food products must follow. In order to be able to legally sell your food products, you must adhere to these guidelines. The guidelines include maintaining quality food standards on how it looks, smells, tastes, and even feels.
Meet Higher Standards
For some food production companies that already meet the FDA guidelines but wish to meet higher standards, they can introduce different types of laboratory testing. For example, a company could test their product chemically to discover non-GMO preservative alternatives.
Types of Food Laboratory Tests
Testing food products can be done in a few different ways. The food products can be tested by using:
Microbiology Analysis — Microbial testing of micro-organisms that naturally occur in some foods.
Chemistry Analysis — Reveals additive and contaminant levels in food products.
Allergen Analysis — Test for the presence of or cross-contamination of food allergens.
Potable Water Analysis — Test shelved drinking water for healthy consumption or not.
Shelf Life Challenge Study — Estimate how long your food products’ lifespan will be in stores.
Specifically, there is an array of tests that must be performed on meat products and produce. Two of these tests include:
ELISA (Enzyme Immunoassays) — Detects antibodies, allergens, and/or antigens that are found in animal tissue and related food products, such as chicken eggs and cow’s milk.
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) — Checks for certain types of DNA sequences, including E Coli and salmonella.
At Alliant Food Safety Labs, we want to make sure that your products are safe, high quality, and sustainable. With our array of available laboratory tests, you can ensure that your food products meet and exceed FDA guidelines and standards. Order food sample testing online and view our other services, including Nutritional Facts Labeling. Contact us today if you have any questions or to get started with our food testing services!