Forensics v3

of physical
and biological

Forensic Analysis

When contamination occurs, you need to minimise downtime, reduce the risk of product recall, and get things back to normal as quickly as possible. 

We offer specialist identification of physical and biological contaminants in food and consumer products.

How can forensic food analysis help?

Forensic analysis of food can provide information to manufacturers, consumers, suppliers, and third parties. Our analysts have experience of many types of contaminants and unusual cases. We provide detailed reports that are clear and easily understandable by manufacturers and consumers alike. Not only do we answer questions like, “What is it?”, but we may also be able to answer questions like; “Is it what the customer thinks it is?” “What are possible sources of this?” “Was it introduced before being cooked?” and “Does it have food residue on it?”

The answers to these questions can help narrow down a contamination window for each sample. It also allows manufacturers to go back to their customers with a detailed analysis of the contaminant and possibly where it has come from.

Scope of testing

Physical - e.g. glass, plastic, metal fragments, fibres. Even the smallest particles less than the size of a pinhead can be examined.

Biological – e.g. pests/insects / animal remains, plant material, microbiological growths.

Raw materials testing

We can test raw materials before they go into your products to ensure that the sample is what your supplier is claiming, or to provide you with a report to move with your exports. These types of samples are compared with our internal reference database of spectra to provide you with a result on a scale from not consistent to consistent.

How we work

Over the years we have come across numerous foreign object types. We specialise in the unusual and understand that every case is different, so we do not have a set sampling or preparation guide. We move from least destructive to most destructive in terms of test type, and work with you closely to understand your requirements from the testing and make sure that we answer your questions.

Turn-around times (TATs)

Our standard TAT for food forensic samples is 5-7 working days.

We also offer a TAT for urgent samples of 2-3 working days. (Surcharge applies).

Get in touch

Contact the Forensics team at or call 04 570 8181 to discuss your requirements.

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