Consumer food testing devices: threat or opportunity?

Technological advances are bringing regular consumer testing of food for quality and safety closer to reality. Food safety consultant François Bourdichon, and Bert Pöpping, of FOCOS, discuss the implications of consumer testing for the industry.

consumer testing

Quality and food safety testing has until recently been performed under the supervision of trained laboratory technicians within dedicated premises, under the frame of numerous standards such as GLP or ISO 17025 and specifically for Food Microbiology ISO 7218. In order to be more relevant, technology has allowed this activity to be taken outside the laboratory, thanks to portable equipment which allows ‘field analysis’ to be performed. One widely applied example is truck testing with lateral flow tests for antibiotic residue carried out by drivers when they receive milk from collection points. Portable Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) devices can also be used on-site by an auditor to test feed and raw material for composition and chemical contaminants.

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