UK food ingredient analysis centre functional

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food and drink, Chemistry, Rssl

Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) has reorganised several of
its analytical services to create a specialist department dealing
with functional ingredients.

Headed by Melindee Hastie, the new UK-based department is designed to help food and drink companies better to exploit functional ingredients in every-day foods.

This particular sector looks set to grow and grow.

"2005 was the tipping point for health,"​ said Peter Wennstrom from Health Focus Europe at this month's Vitafoods conference in Geneva.

"We've seen the consequences for companies that have adapted late to this trend. Consumers are trading better food for bad food, and retailers are seeing this in every category."

He told delegates that health has hit the mass market - and what's more, this market is becoming highly segmented. Food companies must therefore know exactly who their target audience is if they are to capture lucrative niches.

RSSL says that it has invested heavily in its laboratories and analytical equipment. But what sets it apart from other food laboratories is the fact that it has installed specialist storage cabinets that can be used for holding samples during stability studies.

This is especially interesting for functional ingredient manufacturers. These ingredients are often vulnerable to degradation during processing and storage; stability studies are therefore essential in assisting manufacturers in setting the shelf life of products and making accurate labelling claims.

The functional ingredients laboratory is also equipped to analyse premium ingredients to assess their authenticity, using tests for a wide range of chemical markers to detect adulteration and substitution.

It can also test products for the addition of sweeteners, colours and preservatives (whether used legally or otherwise) as well as illegal chemical contaminants, such as Sudan Red I-IV.

Related topics: Health and nutritional ingredients

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