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Q: How do I submit food products for lab testing?


A: Follow these Best practices for submitting food products for lab testing:

  • Contact the lab to ask about their submission protocols. Ask how much product to submit? How to ship or drop off samples? Price and turnaround time? In addition, follow these best practices:
  • Testing 3-4 samples from separate batches demonstrates the product is consistent and all batches are staying within the allowed pH and/or water activity parameters. However, you may submit one sample from one batch. If it fails, readjust your recipe or process and send in another sample from that batch.
  •  After initial testing, if you change anything in your recipe or process, test again.
  • Provide a sample with all components of your product, ie. brine (liquid) and solids of pickled products, cupcake with frosting, pie with crust.
  •  To avoid contamination from batch to batch or product to product, use clean knives, spatula, etc. to collect each sample.
  • Use containers that are clean, dry and leak-proof, sealable and size suitable for the product.
  • Avoid glass containers, which may break during shipping or transporting.
  • Label each sample unit, ie. banana bread #1, banana bread #2, banana bread #3.

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