BROWSE ALL ARTICLES BY TOPIC
Laboratory Equipment: Traceability and Throughput, Driven by FSMA
by Gina Shaw
Traceability mandates from the Food Safety Modernization Act, which has finally been given more or less complete life as the FDA has issued most of its proposed regulations, are a big driver of technology choices in laboratory equipment for food safety, say industry representatives.
“People are looking more rigorously at testing,” says Paula De Oliveira, marketing manager, food and environmental markets for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “They want computer systems that are better able to help them keep track of their products and sample results, manage vendors and many of different pieces of data so that if the need arises, they can easily access that data for purposes of an audit or a recall.”
In regards to microbiology, the push is always toward solutions that give a faster result, with polymerase chain reaction still dominating. “On the chemical analysis side, whereas in the past a lab may have been satisfied with a single quadrupole mass spectrometer, these days people are looking more for triple quad technology,” says the Thermo Fisher spokesperson. “Laws are getting more stringent in terms of what you can have in terms of chemical residue, and the newer technologies can make complying with those requirements easier,” De Oliveira says. Triple quadrupole systems offer higher selectivity, better signal-to-noise ratios, and better accuracy and reproducibility, particularly at lower concentrations.
When it comes to sample preparation, microwave technology is meeting a growing demand for higher throughput, says Robert Walker, product manager for the analytical division at CEM. Concerns about mercury in ocean fish, on the wane for a time, has led to a higher demand for mercury sample preparation as consumers try to eat healthier.
Other areas of increasing interest for product testing include nutritional supplements sourced from overseas. “There is concern about lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in ‘nutraceuticals’ from places like China,” Walker says. Packaging is also a growing area of concern. “I went to a packaging show in November, and there are more and more worries about anything migrating from the packing material to the foodstuff, especially if it’s stored at temperatures hotter than those recommended.”
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. Reach her at email@example.com.
Automated Microwave Digestion System Makes Sample Preparation for Trace Metals Analysis Easy
Digest up to 2 grams of food samples in as little as 10 minutes, including cool down, with the Discover SP-D 80. Individual sample programming, available automation, 110v power connection, and a simple vessel design are a few of the features that make the SP-D fast, accurate, and easy-to-use.
7102 Riverwood Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Tabletop Texture Analyzer to Supplement Sensory Testing
Shimadzu’s Texture Analyzer provides a way to obtain objective numerical results that can supplement sensory testing in food development and quality control applications. This compact system offers high-speed data sampling and outstanding accuracy for improved productivity. Specialized software features a refined user interface for easy operation.
355 River Oaks Parkway
San Jose, CA 95134
Expect more Accuracy, reliability and productivity
The Thermo Scientific™ Virtuoso™ Imaging System imprints customizable information DIRECTLY onto Thermo Scientific vials. The system provides an error-free solution to vial labeling while the overall quality of the data ensures reliable vial identification. Virtuoso is a first of its kind system that provides accuracy, legibility and higher throughput.