Food Safety – How to Trust What is in your Food

Food safety is of paramount importance as most consumers want to know what is in the products they consume and what their nutritional value is. However, consumers cannot always trust that the information on a package is correct and a number of high profile cases of inaccurate labeling have highlighted this issue.

Food safety - how to trust whom

Photo credit: LECO Corporation

This article examines the history of public food analysis in the UK and how an enforcement laboratory can work in the public and private sectors to identify nutritional information and prevent food adulteration. In addition, it examines how Kent Scientific Services uses LECO’s instruments to ensure stringent food safety.

The history of public food analysis services in the UK can be traced back to 1860 when the first food adulteration laws were enacted.

Food safety - how to trust whom

Photo credit: LECO Corporation

Food adulterations, like adding borax to spoiled milk to reduce its sour taste or plaster of paris to bread to make it whiter (and to lengthen its flour) were not uncommon at the time.

Food adulteration was a rampant epidemic that killed many people, especially children, and when laws were enacted many offenders were named and shamed in the public media to inform society of the danger and which suppliers to avoid.

As public awareness and legislation increased, so did the need for laboratories that could assess food quality.

A milestone in public health came in the 1950s with the establishment of the Association of Public Analysts and a network of laboratories in the UK where food samples submitted by local authorities could be tested for food, agricultural and consumer product safety and consumption.

Read  Scientists work to limit human exposure to 'forever chemicals'

However, the number of laboratories run by the Association of Public Analysts has declined in recent decades from a peak of thirty to just nine in the UK at present. This is an urgent problem: Scientists are expected to analyze more samples faster with fewer laboratories and fewer employees.

The Kent Scientific Services laboratory analyzes approximately 10,000 samples per year for private companies and government agencies. Until recently, control labs were not allowed to operate in the private sector, but it is now recognized that testing samples for companies before they go to market better protects consumers from dangerous or adulterated substances.

The ability to test private samples using the same equipment and to the same exacting standards as enforcement samples enables Kent Scientific Services to position itself well in a competitive market and provide industry-leading food safety services.

Food safety - how to trust whom

Photo credit: LECO Corporation

Part of the company’s success is attributed to the LECO products used in the laboratory. Between 20% and 25% of all samples that pass through Kent Scientific’s laboratories are tested for moisture content.

Assessing the moisture content of food samples is a simple but important test that is important in determining nutritional accuracy. The lab uses the LECO TGM800 exclusively for automated humidity testing, but more traditional, slower manual tests can be provided if results need to be cross-checked.

The Kent Scientific Systems team also uses a LECO TruSpec and the latest FP828 protein analyzer, which uses a Dumas method. All LECO instruments used in the control laboratory pass strict legal procedures and support Kent Scientific’s accreditation as an official control laboratory.

Read  Expert-Approved Ways To Increase Well-Being – Forbes Health

The team bought their first device from LECO almost thirty years ago and to this day have been satisfied with the service and accuracy provided.

Almost 5-10% of all samples tested in the Kent Scientific Services laboratory show some form of adulteration. This is pretty consistent across the board.

As ingredient and component prices rise, some suppliers are trying to save money and reduce costs by adulterating their products or reducing key ingredients. Kent Scientific Services uses LECO instruments to ensure customers are not misled about what is in their food and to ensure food safety.

This information has been obtained, verified and adapted from materials provided by LECO Corporation.

For more information on this source, visit LECO Corporation.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button