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From: Food Quality & Safety magazine, June/July 2013

Mass Appeal: What's Hot in Contract Lab Services

by Gina Shaw

Mass spectrometry has assumed an essential role in ensuring food quality and safety—so much so that last year’s Asilomar Conference, hosted by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, focused its agenda on mass spec in food safety and quality. Topics included LC/Q-TOF Mass Spectrometry in detection of peanut and tree nut allergens in processed and unprocessed foods; UHPLC/high resolution MS in analysis of food contaminants; and the use of LC/QTOF-MS for identification of unknown contaminants for food defense.

Many of the contract laboratories working with the food industry today are focusing on doing as much as possible with combined liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) for its lightning-fast speed combined with powerful sensitivity, says Christie Brewe, laboratory and quality manager with Romer Labs, which operates four fully accredited laboratories in the U.S., Austria, Singapore, and the U.K.

“A lot of what we do is mycotoxin-based, and we are trying to go beyond what’s regulated worldwide to look at other mycotoxins with synergistic effects, and getting those to mass spec,” says Brewe.

As the Asilomar conference demonstrated, many labs are working to move food allergen testing into LC/MS as well, although most food allergen testing remains PCR- and ELISA-based at the moment.

GMO (genetically modified organism) detection and quantification is also in high demand. ELISA assays and strip tests are sometimes used in GMO detection, but the current gold standard for industry worldwide is PCR-based GMO detection. Mass spectrometry could dramatically enhance a lab’s ability to quantify minute concentrations of GMO proteins, and it’s currently under investigation for this purpose but it’s not yet in common use at most contract labs.

For more information on contract labs, see “Handy Contract Labs: Not Just for Testing Anymore.” It explores how today’s contract labs are offering a wide variety of collaborative options to ensure the safety and quality of the foods manufacturers produce.


Shaw is a writer for Food Quality & Safety’s eUpdate enewsletter. She also writes frequently about science, medicine, and health while serving as a regular contributor on notable medical publications.

Romer Labs, Inc. - America

1301 Stylemaster Drive
Union, MO 63084-1156 USA
Phone: 636-583-8600
office@romerlabs.com

Romer Labs - Your trusted global partner for reliable analytical service

Romer Labs - Your trusted global partner for reliable analytical service

Our laboratories offer a broad spectrum of ISO 17025 accredited analytical services, including:

  • Multi-Mycotoxin Analysis (+ mycotoxin binder studies + mold/yeast count & identification)
  • Allergen Screening
  • GMO Analysis
  • Other Contaminants including melamine, antibiotics, steroids and more

State-of-the-art instrumentation including LC-MS/MS for routine analysis and 30 years of expertise insure the highest accuracy in results. The Analytical Laboratory is ISO 17025:2005 accredited through the American Association for Laboratory.

www.romerlabs.com

 

rtech laboratories

P.O. Box 64101
St. Paul, MN 55164-0101
Phone: 800-328-9687
Fax: 651-375-2002
AWDotterweich@landolakes.com

Better, Safer, Smarter Food Testing
 

Better, Safer, Smarter Food Testing

rtech laboratories, a division of Land O’Lakes, is a ­comprehensive food safety and technology research facility providing clients with microbiology and chemistry testing, nutritional analysis, pilot plant, and information research services.Our laboratory is ISO 17025 accredited.

www.rtechlabs.com

 

Nasco

Phone: 800-558-9595
www.whirl-pak.com

New Whirl-Pak Stand-Up Bag
 

New Whirl-Pak Stand-Up Bag

The 15”W x 15”H (37.5 x 37.5 cm) gusseted bottom bag is ideal for mixing solutions for Salmonella testing and other applications. The 4.0 mils thick film contains a convenient write-on strip for sample information and the bag is self-standing and does not need a rack to keep it upright.

www.whirl-pak.com

 

NP Analytical

For information or quotation, visit www.npal.com or call 800-423-6832

New Whirl-Pak Stand-Up Bag
 

When Experience Counts, Count On NPAL

Our technical and customer service staff averages over 20 years of experience, ensuring you:

  • The right testing protocol for your food and feed analysis
  • The most cost-effective solution (only the tests you need)
  • A personal commitment to work in partnership with you

www.npal.com

 

 

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