Prepared foods

Prepared foods and ready-to-eat (RTE) foods must be tested for many different parameters in order to obtain safe and high quality food products.

The market for convenience food is growing, and more and more prepared foods, sauces, snacks and instant soups find their way to the customer. R-Biopharm test kits can be applied throughout the whole production chain: from raw materials to intermediates and final products, from the inspection of incoming goods to hygiene monitoring and finally to product analysis for correct labeling. Our large portfolio of different test formats can be used to analyze even complex matrices such as soups, sauces, dressings, bakery products, baking mixtures, pizza, pasta, cereals, sausages, confectionery, chocolate, ice cream, snacks, margarine, spice mixtures, baby food and other processed foodstuffs.

Hygiene monitoring

Microorganisms may cause severe foodborne diseases. The monitoring of pathogens and spoilage organisms throughout the whole production chain is therefore crucial to ensure consumer protection and product stability. Microbiological tests allow hygiene control of surfaces in the production environment as well as analysis of prepared food products.

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Even small amounts of allergens are a risk for allergic persons. Though allergenic ingredients must be labelled in most countries, unintended contamination during storage and production due to carryover is very common. Due to the long production chain, prepared foods are at high risk of cross-contamination. Manufacturers should therefore test their products for allergen content in order to ensure correct labelling and to avoid product recalls.

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Food adulteration

Animal species specification is of great interest: meat products can be falsified due to incorrect declaration – see horsemeat scandal for example. Inferior meat, fish or dairy products may be falsely declared and thus, the consumer is misled. This may be partly a criminal intent, but the corresponding financial damage as well as the loss of reputation can be highly immense for the distributor. Real-time PCR tests allow determining the true origin of a food product.

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Grains and other agricultural products are often contaminated with mycotoxins such as aflatoxin, ochratoxin or DON. When producing cereal-based prepared foods, e.g. pizza or pasta, the incoming goods should therefore be thoroughly tested for mycotoxins. Reliable screening methods are essential for manufacturers in order to comply with regulations and to ensure toxicologically safe products.

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Sugars, acids and other constituents

Enzymes offer sensitive and specific methods of quantification for many substances present in food products. Relevant indicators for the product quality of prepared foods include citric acid (which is often used as a preservative), acetic acid, ascorbic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid, glutamic acid, glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, nitrate, ethanol and starch.

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