Food analysis: Know what’s inside

07-03-2012: Given all the new scandals about prohibited and hazardous substances, the quick, easy and accurate analysis of food continues to increase in importance. At analytica 2012, to be held in Munich from April 17 – 20, there will be a number of new exhibitor developments on the topic of food analysis as well as lectures on the latest methods and techniques.

Exhibition Director Katja Stolle on the significance of food analysis at analytica 2012: “Effective consumer protection is only possible if ingredients can be analyzed quickly and reliably. The fair gives trade visitors a complete overview of the methods and techniques being developed in the sector for food analysis and gives them an opportunity to discuss them directly with the experts.”

At this year’s International Trade Fair for Laboratory Technology, Analysis and Biotechnology, manufacturers are presenting a number of new systems for chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and other analysis techniques that play an important role in food testing. In addition, a number of exhibitors are presenting new products that were developed specifically for food analysis. For example, Retsch is introducing a new cyclone mill that simplifies the preparation of food and feedstuffs using NIR analysis. R-Biopharm has developed a quick test that quantitatively detects mycotoxins on location in ten to 20 minutes.

Transia is presenting ready-to-use plates for testing water in production facilities in the food and beverage industry. They determine the total bacteria count and detect coliform bacteria, yeasts, molds and enterobacteria. The company also has a solution for detecting gluten proteins from wheat, barley and rye in raw and heated foods.

Polyscience has developed a 75-liter circulating bath for conducting aging studies on beverages. The device simulates temperature fluctuations that occur when packaging, transporting and storing beverages. Perten Instruments is presenting new NIR analysis systems at analytica 2012 that feature calibration solutions. They are ideal for arrival testing of raw materials, production monitoring and quality control of the final product. They can be used to process both ground and unground samples.

The Live Lab for Food and Water Analysis in Hall B2 will allow visitors to see how special equipment and methods for food analysis are used in actual practice. In addition, experts will hold experiment lectures to examine how safe foods are and what role analysis techniques play in quality control and detecting pesticides and toxic residues.

The analytica Conference will shed some scientific light on this trend topic with two sessions on Thursday. One is on “Miniaturized Analytical Systems: Microarray Technology for Rapid & Quantitative Analysis of Water, Air & Food Contaminants”. The other deals with the topic of “Analyzing Bioactive Compounds in a Complex Food Matrix” including the challenges of animal medication and new analysis methods for odors.

Users can get application-related tips in the Laboratory & Analytics Forum and the Biotech Forum. For example, Thermo Fischer Scientific is presenting new techniques and software tools to be used with mass spectrometry to test food for pesticides and other harmful substances. A representative of Hyglos will speak about a new testing technique for detecting certain bacterial toxins, i.e. endotoxins, which can trigger intestinal illnesses. Retsch and Chemspeed will give lectures on the various aspects to be taken into account when optimizing sample preparation.

Another subject area is the quality assurance of chemical analysis measurements. LGC Standards will address food analysts and others with reference materials and other quality-assurance tools. Merck Millipore will give a lecture on the importance of laboratory-water purity levels for analyses and give practical tips on treating and storing water.

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