The Importance of Food Testing in Labs: Nutrition Labels, Food Safety, Food Consistency

We all depend on food to maintain energy throughout our days. We do our best to eat a healthy and balanced diet—with some cheat meals along the way, of course. Everyone needs healthy food choices, and food testing is one of the ways that ensures our food is healthy as well as safe to eat. Keep reading to learn the importance of food testing in labs.

Food Testing Creates Nutrition Labels

If you’ve ever looked at the back of the packaging on food, you’ve probably seen a nutrition label. In fact, you may rely on nutrition labels to decide if the item is healthy for you to consume. Whether you’re implementing a diet or simply counting calories, lab testing makes these labels a reality. During testing, the lab technician can identify every detail about a food item.

Food Testing Prevents Serious Illnesses

Food testing analyzes the safety of food to avoid causing potential sicknesses in consumers. Lab technicians can analyze the food for biological and chemical hazards and dangerous bacteria such as listeria, salmonella or E. coli. In addition, labs can identify whether vegetables and fruits contain pesticides or preservatives.

Food Testing Ensures Consistency

Lastly, food testing in labs can ensure manufacturers are staying consistent with listed ingredients in addition to FDA regulations. Because companies are always looking for the next “superfood”—whether that’s kale chips or a new protein bar—labs analyze the ingredients to ensure consistency.

Whether you’re merely looking for information on the packaging or just curious, there’s no doubt that food testing in labs is important. One of the most common ways labs test products is through gas chromatography, a method that separates mixtures into their respective components. Who would’ve guessed that the evolution of gas chromatography could’ve led to analyzing our food decades later?