In the food industry, safety testing is essential to providing high-quality products, preventing contamination and food-borne illness, and maintaining brand reputation. Food chemistry laboratories must control data from complex analyses while maintaining the highest analytical performance and regulatory standards to deliver on food safety. Meeting these standards can be arduous without a reliable laboratory information management system (LIMS).
With a LIMS that can integrate seamlessly with laboratory instruments to build specialized interfaces for chromatography data systems, you can conveniently implement better chemistry workflows in your lab.
There are numerous facets involved with chemical risks in the food chain regarding chemical food safety. From the biologically active compounds of the food to the chemical components such as additives, contaminants, and their toxicology levels, these are aspects you consider when dealing with food quality. According to regulatory guidelines, maintaining the proper standard of food quality means having an integrated system from start to finish, including assigning the necessary sample tests and accurately analyzing the sample testing results.
Maintaining adequate chemistry workflows requires that chemistry lab managers understand how chemical compounds interact in the food production process. This understanding also includes knowledge of toxicology and risk management to prevent food contamination. Chemistry lab managers also apply expertise in scientific principles to take recommendable actions on food safety challenges in the lab and oversee food contamination in production and processing workflows.
The Significance of Chemistry Workflows in Food and Beverage Testing
High quality plays an essential role in food testing as it, directly and indirectly, relates to human safety. Chemistry workflows involve analysis of chemical hazards and contaminants in food processes to ensure food safety. Strategies such as non-targeted metabolomics and chemical database filtering are testing samples for a broad range of chemicals.
Workflows in a chemistry lab cover all food safety and quality stages, from sample collection to extraction and analysis. Hence secure systems to conduct processes such as pesticide residue analysis, examining persistent organic pollutants, and food labeling are necessary to maintain a high standard of food products and sustain consumer confidence. The end-to-end stages of chemistry workflows in food analysis include:
Sample collection for examination stands at the initial stage of chemistry workflows. This stage involves acquiring samples, registering them in your database, labeling them with the compounds you would use for analysis, and describing their characteristics. Getting the collection stage right is essential in ensuring convenience in further steps.
Preparing samples for analysis under certain conditions that ensure careful handling is crucial, especially for processes including denaturing. Paying attention to detail to consistently perform precise and accurate tests enables you to improve the efficiency of your chemistry workflows. Due to human error, preparation processes can be inaccurate, resulting in test failures. However, with a LIMS, automating such processes provides a straightforward solution.
There are cases where the sample must be stored for a period in food analysis. You can keep samples for various reasons, including experimenting with the precise incubation time before extraction or testing for chemical reactions such as adsorption and fermentation. When considering a lab storage instrument, consider its temperature specification, material, power consumption, and capacity.
Extraction and Analysis
After running tests and analyzing the results, extraction enables you to isolate notable compounds that result in pleasant or unpleasant reactions in your food and beverages. Extraction plays a crucial role in the chemistry lab as it can significantly impact results. From chromatographic separations to spectroscopy analysis, chemistry workflows involve processes to identify and set apart compounds of interest.
How a LIMS Enables Chemistry Workflows to Enhance Food Safety
A LIMS makes it more convenient to manage workflows effectively and improves the efficiency of your chemistry lab. With state-of-the-art features that ensure you comply with food safety regulations and provide a thorough description of samples and the tests they undergo, a LIMS bolsters your chemistry workflows. The LIMS functionalities that help you handle food safety and quality include:
Automating manual tasks such as calculations and instrumental analysis enables you to avoid human errors that lead to safety risks. With the LIMS automation feature, you can analyze more samples efficiently in less time and improve your productivity output. A LIMS also handles tasks like nutritional labeling, which is helpful to consumers.
You can effortlessly implement LIMS to manage your workflows and accurately document your processes, ensuring you can track end-to-end operations. For instance, if a customer complains about your product or a batch of tests because a foreign compound contaminated it, you can follow the issue to the source and discover what went wrong.
Create a More Consistent Process for Food Safety with LIMS
Providing healthy and safe food and supplements is a top priority for any lab working in this space. With a LIMS in place, you can be confident that your lab manager can stay on top of any potential problems while boosting efficiency and the overall effectiveness of your lab. Without the availability of a structured LIMS, you may find that overall quality can degrade, with unacceptable errors in testing that could be damaging to your brand.