Food Testing Overview, Microbiology and Chemistry


Marshfield Food Safety works with companies to conduct microbiological and chemistry testing.  Food testing is required to obtain a certificate of analysis for ready to eat and raw products at certain stages of processing. 

Having A2LA Accreditation to ISO 17025:2005 assures our results will make you compliant with USDA FSIS, HACCP, US FDA FSMA, and other regulatory requirements.  To search for a specific test you may view our food testing menu or contact us to inquire.  Food testing technologies are listed here:


PCR
Polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) testing identifies major pathogens like E.coli 0157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Campylobacter by detecting the organism's DNA. This extremely rapid, accurate testing technology can detect as few as one bacterial organism per sample in as little as eight hours. PCR is several hours faster than standard tests now used in the food industry. Extremely rapid product testing for the major food pathogens using this technology will increase the food safety protection for the food industry and consumer.


ELFA
Enzyme-Linked Fluorescent Assay (ELFA) reveals pathogens by detecting their protein. This technology is currently the cheapest and most widely used in the food industry.


Culture
Cultures from food sources are grown on plates and visually examined for pathogenic species. This is the time-tested method of detection. Organisms can also be isolated and/or quantified using plate counts or MPN methods.
Basic Chemistry testing for fat, water, protein and Ph are the most recently added services, made available to meet customer demand. 


Shelf-Life Verification
Shelf-life Verification allows clients to maximize stability of product and apply it to competitive pricing. Microorganism Strain Identification by Pulse-Field Gel Electrophoresis aids identification of spoilage organisms.  Through strain identification, DNA is abstracted, multiplied and mapped to isolate certain strands or unique variances that could be causing problems in stability. 


Molecular Pathogen Detection
The Atlas System is a fully automated instrument that enhances the accuracy, speed, and efficiency of food safety testing through detection of molecular pathogens, including Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and other organisms commonly implicated in food contamination episodes.
 

Chromatography
We have numerous chromatography systems in use that give our scientists the ability to separate compounds within food.  Our automated systems separate food into its components including both natural and added ingredients.  Compounds can be separated according to physical properties such as boiling point or their chemical properites such as polarity.  A variety of detectors are used to measure and record data following the chromatographic separation.  Highly specific detectors enable us to "see" very small amounts of chemicals to measure them in a sample of food.  In our Marshfield lab we utilize liquid cromatography systems having operating pressures that exceed 15,000psi, there are gas chromatography systems, and ion chromatography.




Mass Spectrometry

A mass spectrometer is a detector technology that is capable of measuring mass-to-charge of a compound.  Our skilled chemists calibrate and tune the systems for mass and fragment data using reference materials.  Samples are then evaluated obtaining information about elemental composition and structural arrangement.  This information is used to identify, confirm, and quantify how much of a chemical is in food.  With implementation of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for the United States and international CODEX guidelines this technoogy has become very important to food testing.  This is how most pesticides, antibiotics, and illegal compounds such as melamine and sudan dyes are identified in food.  We have several mass spectrometers in use that are coupled to chromatography systems (LC-MS-MS & GC-MS-MS) and inductively coupled plasma system (ICP-MS).


Chemistry for Food Safety (FSMA)
Toxic Metals
Antibiotics
Mycotoxins


Chemistry for Food Quality
pH
Total Solids
Water Activity
Nutrients
Ingredients


Chemistry for Proximates
Ash
Fat
Fiber
Protein
Moisture



Allergens by ELISA
Almond
Hazelnut
Peanut
Walnut
Gliadin R5 (wheat)
Soy
Milk, total
Egg
 

Services include but are not limited to: 

Microbiology
Environmental Monitoring
Quality System Audits 
Check Sample Programs 
Process Control Chemistries 
Other Process Control Parameter Measurements

E-coli Carcass

Marshfield Food Safety provides everything you need to meet Federal regulations governing testing for E.coli bacteria in meat processing houses.

Johne's Testing by PCR

Johne’s disease testing is available through Marshfield Food Safety.
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