Mon, 11/27/2017 - 17:51

Fish and Seafood Products

The quality of fish, seafood and fish products is very important given their sensitivity to various environmental factors. Due to their high water content, easily degradable organic compounds, free amino acids in the musculature and a high unsaturated fatty acid content, fish can easily spoil. Fish products are also susceptible to sensory deviations, parasitic attacks and residues from animal medications as well as heavy metals. We offer testing for all of these factors.

Sensory Testing

As with meat, consumers view sensory changes that occur over time in fish and fish products as spoilage. Flawless sensory results based on product expectations are therefore a decisive test criterion.

Our staff of certified and experienced sensory experts evaluate products based on recognized test procedures.

Chemical Analysis

Our chemical and enzyme tests include:

  • Weight control, protective gas
  • Nutrient analysis
  • Determination of calcium and sodium using AAS
  • Determination of the fatty acid spectrum including the trans-fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Determination of preservatives
  • Determination of phosphate and citric acid
Contaminant and Residue Analyses

We perform the following tests:

  • Heavy metals: Lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic and tin
  • Biogenic amines (histamines)
  • Malachite green, leucomalachite green, chloramphenicol and nitrofuran agents
  • PCBs and dioxins
  • Persistent pesticides as well as trifluralin
  • Examination for plasticizers (see Packaging Analytics)
Microbiological and Molecular-Biological Analyses

Our state-of-the-art microbiological testing lab offers all classic examination methods. In addition, we can also provide many additional qualitative and quantitative microbial determinations, inhibitor tests, shelf-life studies and testing for antibiotic-resistant germs.

We perform testing at the molecular biological level using PCR and ELISA. Using genetic material, we can also perform selective germ differentiation.

Germ Status

We determine the total microbial count, spoilage agents and pathogenic germs in your product with test such as:

  • Aerobic mesophilic total microbial count
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Campylobacter
  • E. coli with determination of EHEC stems
  • Salmonella
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Enterobacteriaceae / coliforms
  • Clostridia
  • Listeria
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Staphylococci including the variant MRSA
  • Molds, yeasts, etc.

Inhibitor Tests

Inhibitor tests provide information on whether antibacterial substances such as animal medications are present in your food products. A detailed determination of the substances is possible using additional chemical methods (see Instrumental Analytics).

Shelf-Life Studies

Using challenge tests, we examine the growth rate and  tenacity of pathogenic germs in your food product. This data lets you calculate whether the product is still edible at the end of the shelf life.

For shelf-life studies we use the same refrigeration units that are standard in food retailing.  The tests  take place under particularly realistic conditions and allow for reliable prognoses for germ development in the food product. We can also manufacture vacuum and SB Atmos packaging with different protective gas combinations for your products and document the germ development in the different packaging. This gives you insight into which packaging or protective atmosphere delivers the best result for your goods.

Antibiotic Resistance

The frequent use of antibiotics in livestock industry and aquaculture leads to increased resistance of bacteria to these antibiotics, which is a potential hazard for consumers and animal populations. We determine which, if any, resistances are present in germs.

More on Microbiology and Molecular Biology


Histological testing plays an important role in evaluating animal-based food. We conduct the examinations using microscopic tissue sections and special staining techniques. Histological testing is an excellent method for determining  the composition of food. We can:

  • Determine tissue types  microscopically and identify the changes of cells
  • Detect fishbones
  • Test for parasites


Sascha Kaltenbach
Associate Director - Laboratory Operations, Food Safety & Dietary Supplements