Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

MPHL Home : DEC Food Laboratory

Deborah Miller-Tuck — Laboratory Manager

Purpose 

The FOOD SAFETY CHEMISTRY LABORATORY analyzes food for compliance, monitoring, adulteration, labeling, unknown (forensic) samples and consumer products for possible tampering. Analysis of samples is performed using HPLC, pH meter, analytical and pan balances, automated extraction instrument, moisture analyzer, stereo microscope with camera, UV-VIS spectrophotometer, and inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometer equipped with DRC technology, refractometer, selected test strips and a water activity meter.

Instrumentation 

·       HPLC
·       pH meter
·       pan balances
·       automated extraction instruments
·       moisture analyzer
·       stereo microscope with camera
·       refractometer 
 
                               Refractometer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                  
 
 
  
                   pH Meter
 
Elements Routinely Analyzed
      
Tests are performed using a variety of wet chemistry instrumentations. Testing techniques covered in this section include:
 
TEST / MATRIX
CONTAINER
SAMPLE  SIZE
PRESERVATION
HOLDING TIME
METHOD
Preservatives, Sweeteners & Additives in beverages
P/G/C
>40 mL
Na
Na
 
Organic acids in beverages
P/G/C
>40 mL
Na
Na
 
Acidity (pH)
P/G/C
>40 mL
Na
Na
 
Refractive index
P/G/C
>40 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Ammonia
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Brix%, sugar
P/G/C
100 mL /100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Blood, presumptive
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Chlorine
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Condition of Product
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Cyanide
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Fat, %
P/G/C
100 mL /100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Filth in Baked Foods
P/G/C
100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Foreign/Extraneous Matter
P/G/C
100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Insect Identification
P/G/C
100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Moisture content
P/G/C
100 mL /100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Microscopic examination
P/G/C
100 mL /100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Organoleptic
P/G/C
100 mL /100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Toxic organics
P/G/C
500 mL
/100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Toxic metals
P/G/C
500 mL
/100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Physical exam (tampering, etc.)
P/G/C
500 mL
/100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Salt, %
P/G/C
500 mL
/100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Sulfate/Sulfites
P/G/C
100 mL
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
Thermometer calibration
Na
Na
Na
Na
AOAC
Water Activity
P/G/C
100 mL
/100 g
4° C
Immediately
AOAC
 
 
 
Proper measurement techniques, calibration, verification, and troubleshooting strategies for each parameter are addressed and good laboratory practices are emphasized.
 
Potential Health Concerns and Environmental Concerns
 
Many factors play a part in whether a person gets sick from chemically contaminated food. Some of these factors being the kind of contamination, the length of time for contamination, frequency of exposure and even your health condition at the time of exposure.