Food Testing

Safety and Quality of Food

Food and Beverage Testing Services

Food analysis looks at the sensory, chemical, microbiological and physical properties of food and drink, and is an important part of quality assurance, regulatory compliance and product development. Food analysis is required for a wide variety of reasons – from testing suitability for purpose, through checking shelf-life or authenticity, to assuring legal compliance. Spectralab plays a major role in providing assistance in areas of food nutrition, food quality & food safety testing to various food industry segments through routine chemical and microbiological tests. 

food testing

Food samples tested

  • Herbs and spices
  • Tea and tea-related products
  • Cereals, cereal products, and bakery products
  • Canned food products
  • Food supplements
  • Drinking water and mineral water
  • Fruit juices and refreshment beverages
  • Milk, butter, yogurt, cheese and ghee
  • Meat, meat products, fish and fish products
  • Honey
  • Fresh vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, raw foods, grains, pulses and  cereals
  • Cooked foods, processed foods, canned foods, ready-to-eat foods, cereal products, spices, jams, jellies, juices, sauces and concentrates

Key Food Testing Parameters

Core Nutrition Facts Panel analyses include:

  • Fats – including analysis for saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans fats, omega 3 & 6.
  • Proximates (Moisture, Protein, Fat, Ash, Calories and Carbohydrates)
  • Carbohydrates – including sugars, starch
  • Mineral matter and ash.
  • Dietary fibre – by the AOAC method.
  • Salt.
  • Rancidity (peroxide value and free fatty acids)
  • Alcohol.
  • Minerals, trace metals and other trace elements (Na, Ca, K, Se, Zn, Fe, Mg, Hg, Cd, Cu, As, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron,  etc)
  • Vitamin Analysis (A, C, B, D, E etc)
  • Additives – including preservatives, antioxidants, sweeteners, colours, emulsifiers and stabilisers and gelling agents.
  • Contaminants and Residue analysis: Heavy metals and trace elements – including iron, lead, copper, zinc, tin, cadmium, arsenic and mercury.
  • Mycotoxins – Mould Toxins in Foodstuffs – including aflatoxin.
  • Nitrate and nitrites.
  • Packaging contaminants.
  • Pesticide analysis 
  • Heavy Metals: (Ag, Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn), package 
  • Total viable count TVC 30°C / 55°C
  • Yeasts and moulds
  • E.coli/Total Coliform Counts
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Alicyclobacillus
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Anaerobic Spore Former Count 
  • Thermophilic Aerobic Spore Former Count 
  • Thermophilic Anaerobic Spore Former Count 
  • Swab Sampling and Analysis
  • Enterococci
  • Faecal Streptococci
  • Listeria spp
  • Salmonella
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Sulphite reducing clostridia
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • Shigella
  • Lactic Acid Bacteria Count
  • Lactobacillus species Count 

Shelf-Life Studies

Shelf life is an important property of food products that provides a scientific basis for the setting of their minimum durability indication. 

Specific Tests for Shelf Life Studies:

  • Total Coliform 
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • E. coli 
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) 
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Heterotrophic Plate Count (Bacteria) 
  • Fungal Count (Yeast/Mold)
  • Mesophilic Aerobic Sporeformers 
  • Mesophilic Anaerobic Sporeformers
  • Salmonella
  • Moisture content
  • Acidity levels
  • pH
  • Water activity
  • Fat rancidity

Sterility audit is an integral part of GMP and HACCP and is routinely carried out to maintain a required level of sanitary conditions and sterile environment in a manufacturing facility or plant. Evaluation of microbial contamination of equipment, indoor air, critical areas, counter tops and working surfaces in the plant is essential to ensure standard quality and safety of both raw ingredients and finished food products. 

Specific Tests for Sterility and Sanitation Audits

  • Total Coliform/Fecal Coliform 
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • E. coli 
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Fecal Streptococcus 
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Salmonella spp 
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Fungal Count (Yeast/Mold) 
  • Mesophilic Aerobic Sporeformers
  • Heterotrophic Plate Count (Bacteria) 
  • Mesophilic Anaerobic Sporeformers

Environmental and Hygiene monitoring includes swabbing of staff hands, equipment, drains, air etc. can measure the efficacy of cleaning and disinfection programs currently implemented by your company. 

Our Hygiene Service includes:

  • Enumeration of E. coli: Swabs
  • Enumeration of Total Viable bacteria : Swabs
  • Enumeration of faecal coliforms: Swabs
  • Detection of Staphylococcus aureus : Swabs
  • Detection of Listeria monocytogenes : Swabs
  • Enumeration of Enterobacteriaceae : Swabs
  • Detection of Salmonella : Swabs
  • Air settlement plates: Total aerobic count
  • Air settlement plates: Yeast and Mould count
microbiological testing

Issues with Food Safety, Nutrition and Quality?

About Us

We are a full service analytical testing laboratory located in Nairobi that serves Water, Food and Beverages, Feed, Environmental, Agriculture and Geotechnical sectors

Contact Us

  • 0775 - 502 222, 0774 - 088 111
  • lab@spectralab.co.ke, lab.spectralab@gmail.com
  • Credit Bank Hse, 1st Flr Butere Road, off Dar es Salaam Road