Our nutrition department can perform a wide variety of nutrition related testing. Listed below are just a few. Please call or send e-mail if you have any questions.

Nutritional Parameters

  • US FDA Nutrition Labels
  • Vitamins, minerals, protein, etc
  • Sugar profile (by GC)
  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty acid profiles (C8-C18, omega-3, trans fat)

Quality Parameters

  • Brix (by refractometer)
  • Free fatty acids
  • Rancidity (hexanal)
  • pH / Water Activity
  • Scoville heat value
  • Shelf life


  • “Bad odors” in foods (see below)
  • BHA/BHT/benzoate/ethoxyquin/sorbate/TBHQ
  • Ethylene oxide in spices/Propylene oxide in nuts
  • Glycoalkaloids (in potatoes)
  • 3-MCPD (see below)
  • Alcohol/caffeine/polysorbates
  • Solvent residues (e.g., in decaffeinated coffee)
  • Sudan dyes I, II, III, IV
  • Sulfite/sulfur dioxide

Our Capabilities

Headspace Analysis

Using either a headspace sampler or a SPME technique in conjunction with GC/MS enables us to determine volatile compounds in foods. Applications include “bad odors” in foods or packaging, rancidity testing (for hexanal), shelf life and other aroma related analyses. We can also analyze the headspace gases in plastic or foil bags for oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen (by difference).


Of interest recently is the discovery of 3-chloro-1,2-propanediol (3-monochloropropanediol or 3-MCPD) in hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), soups, stock cubes, soy sauce, malt extract, salami, flour, cereals and other foods containing HVP. 3-MCPD has been found in soy sauce in which protein hydrolysis is accomplished using hydrochloric acid. Soy sauce which has been manufactured by a fermentation process not involving HCl does not contain 3-MCPD. Because of its toxicity, several countries have set maximum levels for 3-MCPD. The US FDA has a guidance level of 1 ppm (refer to CPG Sec. 500.500 for details). It is not uncommon to find products containing 3-MCPD. Columbia Food Laboratories uses the AOAC Official Method 2000.01 to determine 3-MCPD.

Trans Fat

On July 11, 2003, the US FDA published the final regulations for inclusion of trans fat on nutrition labels. See Talking About Trans Fat for more information concerning trans fat. Columbia Food Laboratories offers the determination of trans fat as part of new nutrition labels or as a stand-alone test for pre-existing labels. With this technology, it is also possible to determine if hydrogenated oil has been used in a food product. We use high resolution (100 meter capillary column) gas chromatography to determine trans fatty acids.



Personal Consultation

*New: (503) 254-1794*

Mon. – Fri. 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. (UTC-08, Pacific Time Zone)

**Previous Phone discontinued March 2017: (503) 695-2287**


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