Microbiological analyses

We provide analytical testing plans encompassing all stages of production, from raw materials to the finished products, as well as intermediate materials, surfaces, environments and food handlers. Our laboratory carries out analytical testing using automated rapid detection methods for all kinds of products, both for human consumption (raw materials, fresh produce, processed products, foods that have been subject to all kinds of treatments, etc.) and for animal consumption (feeds and raw materials). These include:

  • Meat and meat products
  • Oils and fats
  • Baby food
  • Animal food (feeds, etc.)
  • Drinks
  • Cocoa and cocoa products
  • Grains and grain products
  • Condiments and spices
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Nuts and snacks
  • Ingredients and additives
  • Materials that come into contact with food
  • Cakes and pastries
  • Ready-made dishes
  • Meat products
  • Household cleaning products
  • Personal hygiene and cosmetic products
  • Fish products
  • Diet products and health foods
  • Dairy products

As well as any other product for human or animal consumption

Molecular diagnostics

CALITEC carries out molecular diagnostic tests in the form of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or DNA/RNA sequencing assays:

  • Detection of animal species in feeds and raw materials (e.g. ruminants, bovines)
  • Food fraud detection (e.g. horse, buffalo)
  • Vegan food monitoring
  • Detection of pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes)
  • Identification of plant and animal species Allergen analyses
  • Detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) on surfaces

Physicochemical analyses

CALITEC analyses the composition of food, with particular emphasis on the nutritional aspect, in order to:

  • Quantify the essential nutrients in foods (e.g. proteins, fats, carbohydrates, moisture) to establish the maximum legally approved content for accurate nutritional labelling.
  • Check the functional ingredients (minerals, vitamins and allergens) to establish the characteristics of foods.
  • Test for residues (antibiotics, additives, hormones, hazardous materials or minerals) that may have come into contact with the raw material or various types of products and could pose a risk to consumer health.
  • Test for any contaminants (e.g. metals, mycotoxins, dioxins) that may be found in raw materials or the various types of products.

Water analyses

CALITEC can verify own-check system parameters. We have the necessary means to perform water analyses in accordance with current legislation on the health requirements to be met by water for human consumption and facilities that supply it. We are officially authorised to conduct wastewater tests and are registered with the Government of Catalonia’s Register of Collaborating Laboratories.

Other water analyses:

  • Legionella in cooling towers and the drinking water network.
  • Wastewater and sludge with control parameters.
  • Swimming pool water, reclaimed water, etc.

Surface analyses

CALITEC tests and analyses surfaces, equipment and materials used for food handling to verify the cleaning and disinfection process, thereby making it possible to assess cleaning systems. We can detect the presence of pathogens on surfaces in accordance with current legislation.

Environmental analyses

Air can be a significant source of contamination, so it is important for companies to monitor air quality at their facilities to ensure their products are not affected by it. CALITEC conducts environmental tests and analyses in food work areas and cold rooms to verify compliance with hygiene standards, including aerobic plate counts, mould and yeast counts, etc. Environmental samples can be taken using aspiration systems that guarantee a 99% microbial collection rate, controlling the volume of air sampled. These tests are compatible with cleaning plan checks.

Stability and shelf-life studies

Companies need to determine and check the shelf life of their products taking into account their organoleptic properties and compliance with health standards. CALITEC designs shelf-life studies using microbiological analyses, physicochemical characterisation, organoleptic testing and predictive models. CALITEC also uses various types of studies and reports to assess the components most likely to deteriorate during food storage:

  • Shelf-life validation tests
  • Accelerated shelf-life tests
  • Open shelf-life tests

Challenge tests

CALITEC has a key tool for the development of new products and formulations: the challenge test. These tests enable us to establish a particular food’s resistance to the growth of spoilage or pathogenic organisms, simulating their effects on a given product during production, processing, distribution or subsequent handling by consumers.

What are the benefits of challenge tests?

  • They establish whether certain spoilage or pathogenic micro-organisms can grow in a given food or food product.
  • They establish a product’s shelf life under various storage conditions.
  • They can test the effectiveness of a particular preservative or establish whether certain concentrations of a preservative are present.
  • They comply with the regulations on the microbiological criteria applicable to foodstuffs.
COVID-19

Detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. CALITEC performs the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on surfaces by RT-PCR.

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