Aflatoxin is the secondary metabolite produced by specific strains of Aspergillus fungi. These species contaminate various food commodities like peanuts, corn, figs, nuts, cereals, maize, rice, and other oil products. Aflatoxin poses a potential threat to food safety as it is epidemiologically implicated as a carcinogen in humans and an environmental contaminant which is widespread in nature, its possible chronic toxicity is therefore of greater concern than acute toxicity. This test aids in indicating the presence of different types of Aflatoxins such as B1, B2, G1 and G2.
Crop contaminant means any substance not intentionally added to food, but which gets added to articles of food in the process of their production, manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transport or holding of articles of such food as a result of environmental contamination. It includes metal contaminants, toxic residues, insecticides, pesticides etc. This test helps in determining the potential threats present in food commodities.
These toxins get accumulated in food products during the period of farming. The toxic substance which may occur naturally in any food article includes agaric acid, hydrocyanic acid, hypericin and Safrole. This test helps in quantification of these toxins in foodstuffs.
Sudan I, II, III and IV are industrial dyes normally used for colouring plastics and other synthetic materials. The current food safety framework on colours in food establishes a positive list of colours authorized for use in food to the exclusion of all others. As Sudan dyes are not included in this list, the presence of these dyes in food contravenes with food safety. Sudan dyes have a carcinogenic effect and a potential risk of genotoxicity. Consequently, the fraud identified by the adulteration of chilli and chilli products by Sudan dyes constitutes a risk for public health. This Sudan Dye test helps in combating the food adulteration.
Overall migration test is done to know about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food by food contact materials like aqueous stimulants and fatty food stimulants. Overall migration tests are done to monitor the overall migration limit (OML), they have no toxicological meaning, but they give a good indication about the stability of the food material towards the filling. Specific migration tests (SML’s) are performed to check the migration limits.
Nicotine is one of the most harmful and toxic substances ever discovered. It is highly addictive and harmful to the body. That is why smoking cigarettes and tobaccos is a hard habit to break due to its nicotine content. However, what if it is not only found in cigarettes? What if the vegetables and beverages that we usually eat or drink every day contain some amounts of nicotine? To keep a check on these, nicotine tests are done.
Nicotine comes primarily from the plant Nicotiana Tabacum. After oral ingestion of nicotine, signs and symptoms of nicotine poisoning mimic those for nerve agent or organophosphate poisoning and typically include excess oral secretions, bronchorrhea, diaphoresis, vomiting (common, especially among children), diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, confusion, and convulsions. Mass spectroscopy methods are used to detect nicotine and its metabolite cotinine in tobacco samples.
Steroids are a large group of compounds found in all animals. Different groups of steroids include corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, androgenic steroids, and estrogenic steroids, progestogenic and anti-inflammatory steroids. Many steroids are used in medicines that are similar to the natural hormone. They affect many body processes, including the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrate; the activity of the nervous system; the balance of salt and water; and the regulation of blood pressure. Because of their widespread effects, these drugs are useful in treating many medical conditions, but they can also have undesirable side effects. Steroid tests help in calculating the admissible amounts of specific steroids in consumables.
Heavy metals are present widely in the environment as they increase from natural sources and human activities. Some of the heavy metals are cadmium, mercury, arsenic, tin and lead. These metals are dangerous for our health as they tend to accumulate in our food chain. Human, as a top consumer of the food chain, is subjected to a high risk of heavy metal poisoning. Our Laboratory has accreditation for testing the above heavy metals in general foodstuff.