Cereals

From harvesting to the final product, many steps need to be controlled and monitored to obtain safe and high quality products.

 

Mycotoxins

Cereals are one of the most important sources for mycotoxins in the food and feed chain. Due to their high prevalence and toxicity regulatory maximum levels for the mycotoxin content in food are in place in many countries worldwide. Reliable screening methods are essential for manufacturers in order to comply with regulations and to ensure toxicologically safe products for humans and animals.

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Allergens

In most countries it is mandatory to label ingredients which can cause allergies or intolerances. However, unintended contamination during storage and production due to carryover is very common. That is why manufacturers should test incoming raw material as well as their final products to ensure correct labeling and to avoid product recalls.

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Hygiene monitoring

Foodborne diseases are mainly caused by microorganisms. Thus the control of pathogens throughout the whole production chain is crucial to ensure consumer protection. Moreover, it is important to monitor typical spoilage organisms to reduce losses during production and to ensure the product’s stability until the declared shelf life.

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Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

The worldwide production of genetically modified corn, rice and soy is steadily increasing. In many countries, threshold levels for labelling of products containing GMOs have been established to guarantee consumer information on the application of biotechnology. The detection of GMOs in food and feed is essential to properly fulfill labelling and traceability requirements.

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Sugars and other constituents

Sugars and acids, such as citric acid, sorbitol or sucrose, are often added to bakery products. Those constituents should be measured in order to give nutritional information on labels, to ensure uniform quality or to comply with legislative requirements. Enzymatic tests are widely used because they are easy to use and give precise results, even in complex matrices.

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Vitamins

Cereal products are often enriched with essential vitamins to ensure a sufficient supply of the population. Manufacturers need to make sure that the added and natural vitamin contents matches with the label on the package until the declared shelf life.

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Food adulteration

Durum wheat (also known as Triticum durum) is the ideal raw material for pasta production and the economically most important wheat species. Since prices for durum wheat are usually higher than prices for non-durum wheat, grain products are sometimes adulterated with non-durum wheat.

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