Food Forensics and Filth Testing

In the highly specialized field of Food Forensics, Certified Laboratories brings over 40 years of expertise to the science of understanding if your food products and ingredients were properly selected and handled under FDA cGMP’s, USDA and Best Industry Practices. Our staff of specialists include Ph D’s and Industry recognized experts having published numerous peer reviewed papers within the field of entomology. We are unmatched in providing you the service and expert extraneous material evaluations when time and information is critical.

Light and Heavy Filth

With the increased importation of ground spices and the need to evaluate other commodities for filth, Certified Laboratories utilizes sophisticated Micro-analytical techniques to determine if any extraneous materials have entered the supply chain and identify those materials or insects using the latest extraction techniques and comprehensive microscopic examinations. Our Forensics team can discover a great deal about the conditions under which your products were held and produced by using separation techniques and skilled element identification. Light and Heavy Filth Analysis of Raw Material and Finished Product is routinely performed on Spices, Paprika and other Capsicums, Tamarind & Tamarind Products, Mushrooms (canned & dried), Shrimp, Crab Meat, Cocoa Powder & Chocolate Products, Fruit (dried), Candy, Coffee, Cookies, Tomatoes (canned) & Tomato Products, Corn Chips, Corn Meal, Egg Products, Flour, Gum, Hot Sauce & Salsa, Nut meals, Pasta Products, Rice Sticks, Sugar, Tortillas and other products.
  • Contaminants Detected by Light Filth Analysis include Insect Fragments, Animal Hair, Whole Insects and other extraneous material such as Feather Barbules, Mites, Metal, Rubber, Plastic and other contamination.
  • Contaminants Detected by Heavy Filth Analysis are Sand, Grit, Stones, Glass, and Metal

Sanitation (Macro Filth Analysis)

The presence of extraneous matter (filth) in spices has long been a major concern of the industry and of FDA.  “Filth” can best be described as the extraneous matters left behind by contaminants of the products.  These include whole insects and fragments, excreta, rat and mouse hairs and feather barbules.  Certified Laboratories is recognized as experts in the field.  Certified Laboratories stays current with complex and changing FDA methodology as well as FDA Defect Action Levels (DAL’s) enabling us to tell you quickly and accurately whether or not your shipment will pass the rigid FDA and ASTA standards established for “Filth” methods. As active ASTA members, we have been part of the development of ASTA sanitation program which also includes testing of oregano for sumac and other adulterants.  We are proud to have been part of the working group that established and validated the current method for ASTA.
  • Macro Filth Analysis is conducted on Spices, Herbs, Botanicals, Cocoa Beans, Dried Fruit, Dried Chilies and Plant Gums when looking for insect damage, mold, excreta, and other foreign matter.
Dried Fruit