As firm believers that prevention and protection lead to better, safer food, New Age Laboratories is the ideal choice for your food safety laboratory services partner. Food safety is a scientific discipline of growing, harvesting, packing, handling, processing, manufacturing, transporting, preparing, and storing food in ways that prevent economic loss and outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.
New Age Laboratories’ food safety lab services help growers, processors, and distributors stay ahead of potential food safety/product contamination threats and navigate the difficult paths of Food Safety Regulation now being placed on their industry. Some such as GAP or GMP come through market pressures, while others come from governmental agencies such as FSMA and FSIS.
These services build upon our environmental testing experience by investigating and examining environmental (microbiological) factors that can affect food quality, longevity, and safety of raw materials, prepared ingredients, and finished products. Environmental monitoring samples are part of the scientific analysis of food safety environment in which the food product or ingredient is being grown, harvested, handled, processed, or prepared and its potential to affect its quality, level of contaminates, freshness, and other key factors at all stages.
For example, food safety tests may evaluate how likely an environment is to cause unwanted bacteria – chiefly pathogens that could cause illnesses – or spoilage in the form of yeast. mold, and lactic acids.
Beyond microbial contaminants, NAL also has extensive experience of trace metal contamination and inorganic nutrient analysis for food ingredients and finished products.
Our food safety and microbiology work includes finished product testing and environmental monitoring for Sill Farm Market, Honee Bear Canning, and Michigan Blueberry Growers (MBG).
In addition to working with growers, farmers, and processors, we also work with schools to test for lead, E.coli/coliform, copper, and other elements.
Why We Test
Ultimately, the goal of food testing is to ensure a safe food supply. Doing so requires testing at multiple stages of food collection, preparation, packaging and storage. The following illustrates common food safety test through the example of a blueberry (the farmer has already tested his/her irrigation water to ensure that it is free of E. coli) from collection to a packaged muffin.
- The process begins with testing the raw product. In this case, the blueberries themselves need to be tested to determine what level of yeast and mold they contain in their unaltered state. Additional preparation may be required based on the results.
- Ingredient testing is then implemented to determine if the contaminants have been properly removed. In the case of the blueberry testing will evaluate if the yeast has been removed during the washing process. Quality parameters are set for food quality and food safety, requiring food ingredients to be tested at various stages prior to use as an ingredient.
- Final product testing evaluates the product as a whole. In our illustration, finished muffins will be tested to determine if all of the yeast was removed from the muffins. The packaged muffins will also be tested to ensure that the packaging is safe and effective.
What You Gain with Mobile Testing
New Age Laboratories offers on-site, mobile lab services for food safety testing in addition to its fixed lab services. By utilizing one of the NAL fleet units, our clients receive faster results and are able to move their projects forward faster.
Food safety clients have difficult choices to make when it comes to timing the distribution of a finished product. Consider the blueberry muffins referenced earlier as an example.
The finished muffins must be held prior to distribution to allow time for testing to confirm that the finished product does not exceed the firms internal or an externally set threshold for yeast/mold. Based on the results, the muffins will be accepted as safe for consumption and shipped or deemed inedible. The manufacturer faces this choice; either hold the finished product in place until testing confirms that the muffins are safe for consumption or distribute the muffins immediately and issue an embarrassing recall if the tests reveal otherwise.
As on-site mobile food safety testing lab could give this manufacturer a major advantage, particularly at this stage of testing. The ability to acquire a sample sooner and jump-start the testing process exceeds that of shipping or transporting the sample to a fixed lab. By utilizing the speed and efficiency of one of NAL’s mobile labs, the producer is able to greatly reduce the hold time, thus distributing their products to market faster, reducing storage space requirements, and with peace of mind.
The benefits of a mobile food safety lab are extremely beneficial for use with produce and finished products that have either a faster rate of spoilage than more shelf-stable goods or cost prohibitive storage space.
What NAL Provides
Whether you utilize NAL’s fixed or mobile laboratory services, the results are the same. New Age Laboratories does more than just chemistry; we help our clients with the science behind the testing. Generating data doesn’t generate information. Testing must be conducted consistently to record important and meaningful information in a report-based analysis.
This is where New Age Landmark excels. We provide real-time results and usable data to our clients. We give advice, not just measurements.
Why Outsource Your Lab Services?
- Degree of variability in your sample flow (e.g. Seasonality).
- Wide variety of products, ingredients, and tests to perform.
- Customers who are not satisfied with internal lab’s performance.
- Lack of confidence in the quality of your internal lab’s test results.
- Initial and ongoing costs of accreditation.
- Many more reasons!