Food testing laboratory
Our labs support analysis of food products and packaging. These services are offered as part of a project or as standalone analysis.
Microbiological analysis to support shelf-life testing:
- Aerobic count – indication of spoilage
- Yeast & mold – indicates formula instability
- Coliform – indication of poor sanitation and hygiene
- Lactic acid bacteria – specific to certain products, indication of spoilage
Chemical parameters are measured to provide data as part of product development activities, quality testing or shelf- life data such as:
- Fat oxidation – quality test to determine condition of fats, used in shelf-life study
- pH – acidity of a product, key information in determining food safety risk of a product
- Salinity – amount of salt ingredients in a formula
Physical parameters provide data to support product development activities, quality testing or shelf life data such as:
- Near infrared spectroscopy – non-destructive rapid quality testing using optical imaging
- Farinograph – measure of wheat flour quality
- Texture analysis – used in shelf-life or product development activities to quantify organoleptic texture
- Laser volume measurement – measure physical volume of a sample by creating a digital 3D model
- Water activity – critical food safety parameter indicates the availability of water for microbial growth
- Moisture – quantity of water in sample
- Hyperspectral imaging – non-destructive rapid quality testing using optical imaging
- Viscosity (Brookfield) – quantifies property of liquid “thickness”
- Consistometer (Bostwick) – rapid test to compare thickness of liquid
Food, consumer goods and B2B package testing available such as:
- Material characterization – polymer, corrugate properties
- Packaging testing - measure barrier properties, strength and many more
- Pre-shipment testing – drop testing, transportation testing (vibration table testing of full pallet)
Food safety, quality and, regulatory support
Our expertise in food safety and quality systems makes the Conestoga Food Research & Innovation Lab uniquely equipped to assist industry partners.
Examples of services:
- Prepare nutrition panel based on your formula
- Provide advice for on-going quality product testing
- Support with food safety and food quality programs
Packaging research at Conestoga College is unique because it is home to the only Packaging Technology program offered in Canada. Faculty have strong industry experience supported by state-of-the-art packaging testing equipment. Shown here is the Instron conducting a coefficient of friction test to determine how film will slide on metal. This test is important when changing polymers to ensure packaging moves through automated equipment as expected. Supported by other pre-shipment testing such as vibration and drop testing, Conestoga packaging research can help to reduce risk for companies making changes to their packaging.
Take a virtual tour of our facility located at our Cambridge – Fountain Street campus.