Maintaining the health and wellbeing of consumers should be the priority of food brands. To ensure the same, food safety testing is initiated by various organizations in the USA. Today, consumers are very careful about which foods they should choose and avoid. Hence, the practice of food testing has increased to a great amount across the nation. The food testing market is supposed to grow further up to approximately $24.6 billion by the end of 2023.
Depending upon the facility the process of food safety may vary from one organization to the other. Most organizations test food for quality while others investigate the proportions of specific minerals or chemicals in food items.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food safety should focus upon the aspects below:
Preservation of food quality
Prevention of contamination from food compounds
Prevention of contamination from bacteria or viruses
To ensure the above factors, food testing organizations apply various methods that may involve laboratory testing.
Some Common Methods of Food Testing:
- Microbiology Testing: As one of the common methods of food testing, it detects living organisms and pathogens that can affect food quality or make people ill. By doing so, the process ensures that the food that enters the grocery stores is good in quality and safe for consumption.
- Chemistry Testing: This one is a crucial method to detect the presence of additives, allergens, contaminants, minerals, and heavy metals in food items. Food researchers should know that some compounds and minerals are still allowed in specific foods depending upon their uses. Chemistry testing ensures that these elements are present in the right proportion while the other types of foods do not contain such elements.
- Detention Testing: In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration works as the federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The primary role of this organization is to ensure the safety, efficacy, and security of food and other consumable products. The FDA tests foods that are imported from other countries to check if they meet FDA’s safety standards.
- Certification and Audit: Shipping procedures and policies play a vital role in ensuring food quality or safety. Many organizations in the US offer a variety of audit services to certify shippers. The types of audits vary depending upon the testing facilities the organizations have. Hence, a buyer should research before ensuring complete safety.
Food Testing Organizations in the USA:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): As mentioned above, the FDA works as the federal food testing agency in the USA.
- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN): As a branch of the FDA, this organization provides food safety testing on specific food items.
- International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI): Initiated by the Global Food Protection Institute, this organization works in collaboration with the FDA to ensure food safety.
- Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA): This organization is administered jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Also known as the US agricultural department, this organization executes federal laws related to food and farming.
- Under Secretary for Food Safety: As a branch of the USDA, this organization oversees the policies and programs of the food safety services.
- Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS): It is an agency of the USDA that focuses on testing the commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products.
- Every organization that offers food testing has to follow laboratory quality management manuals. CFSAN Laboratory Quality Assurance Manual and ORA Laboratory Manual are two iconic quality management manuals among the others.
Food testing plays a vital role in determining which foods are safe to consume. The above organizations use various methods to ensure food quality and safety in the USA. Markets and Markets Research recently conducted a study that shows the growth of food safety testing organizations across the globe. According to their report, the food testing market was more than 12.01 billion USD in size in 2016. The size is assumed to reach approximately an 18.41billion USD by the end of 2022. This massive growth shows the growing need for faster and more accurate results from the food testing industry among consumers.