Advanced Food Testing Facilities Are Essential for Quality and Compliance

With our increased dependence upon processed food, testing has probably never been as important as it is today. Concerns regarding the long-term consequences of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the short-term effect of allergies to produce such as nuts have spurred the need for action. In addition, similar concerns regarding the acceptable levels of salt, sugar, saturated fats and essential nutrients in processed edibles have led to the imposition of stringent new regulations on their manufacturers in many countries.

While the actual requirements imposed may vary substantially between one country and its neighbours, most nations have, at least, now seen the importance of defining such regulations and of overseeing their implementation. To assist them many companies are now involved in the design and manufacture of the equipment and reagents that are required for rapid, accurate and reproducible food testing.

While those involved in the manufacture of wine, vegetable oils and fats along with those in the dairy industry or prominent among the users of this technology, most edible products may be extracted or reduced to a form in which some form of analysis may be undertaken. While some of the equipment manufactured may be designed for use in rather specific applications there are also many other instruments that are intended for more general use. Much of the regulation that is now applicable to edible products in South Africa is focussed upon its labelling. Legislation passed in 2010 now demands that all of those involved in the industry must be comply with new labelling requirements. In order to meet these new demands, an affordable and reliable means by which to conduct food testing is no longer an optional extra but a basic necessity.

The motivation for change stems largely from the misleading advertising practices of the recent past such as claiming that only vegetable oils labelled as containing no cholesterol are the healthy choice when, in fact, all Vegetable oils are cholesterol free and it is their differing fatty acid content that may have health implications. Likewise, since all of these oils have the same calorific value – the use of the term ‘lite’ is meaningless when applied to this type of product and could even be seen as deliberately deceptive. Other concerns, quite rightly, are aimed at identifying potential allergens or at least warning that they may be present.

Rather than merely claiming a product is nutritious, manufactures must now list its nutrients in order of concentration – a task that is dependent upon quality food testing equipment. Locally, IEPSA is a company that sources analytical and diagnostic equipment and reagents from the world’s leading manufacturers and we are uniquely positioned, not just to ensure that you have access to the cutting edge of these vital technologies, but that you also have all of the technical support needed to leverage their full potential in meeting the analytical needs of your operation and in enabling you to be fully compliant with the governments new requirements.

Single and multi-test, batch analysers for milk, oils, wines and other foodstuffs are available to determine values such as free fatty acids, total acidity, peroxide value, urea nitrogen and a host of others to ensure that you have the food testing results required for compliance.

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