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NutritionA passion for nutritious, safe, and quality food is what drives our team of skilled and experienced analysts. By utilizing the most recent advancements in food analysis technology, we are able to provide rapid results that are accurate and reliable every time.

Nutrition Label Testing

We provide the entire breadth of testing required to produce US FDA Nutrition Facts Labels compliant with current regulations in addition to the updated 2020 regulations.

Additional nutritional testing for fortified, supplemented, and functional food and food ingredients:

  • Fatty Acid Profiles ( Saturated, Trans, Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Omega-3, 6, 9)
  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides), Linoleic Acid, EPA, DPA, DHA
  • Vitamins
  • Trace Minerals

Food Safety and Quality Testing

Ensuring that your product is safe for consumers and adheres to federal quality standards is of the utmost importance. We are capable of testing a vast array of analytes that provide key insight into the quality and safety of a food product, including:

  • Shelf Life Testing (Water Activity, PH, Peroxide Value, Free Fatty Acids, Sensory)
  • Quantitative Allergen Testing ( Gluten, peanut, total milk, soy, egg, and more )
  • Preservative Testing ( Benzoate/Sorbate, Sulfites/Sulfur Dioxide)
  • Contaminant Testing (3-MCPD)
  • Tests of Identity ( Titratable Acidity, Salt by Chloride, Brix. Alcohol)

Animal Feed Testing

We also are equipped to perform a guaranteed analysis on animal feed and pet food.

  • Protein
  • Crude Fat
  • Crude Fiber
  • Total Sugars
  • Total Carbohydrates
  • Calories
  • Vitamins and Minerals

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Our nutrition department can perform a wide variety of nutrition related testing. Listed below are just a few.

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

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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