Laboratory facilities

All food companies should have a laboratory capable of providing basic investigations and tests. The scope depends upon the range of products made and the assurances required by the company's customers.

The following is a list of basic equipment.

  • Drying oven for making moisture content tests and for calibrating other rapid moisture measurement instruments
  • Balances accurate to at least 0.001 of a gramme
  • Equipment for measuring the solid fat index
  • Thermometers accurate to 0.1°C
  • Refrigerator for storing certain ingredient samples
  • Sieves for determining particle size ranges of flours and crystalline sugars.
  • Refractometer for measuring sugar solution concentrations
  • Facilities for making tasting tests on baked products
  • Facilities for making pack seal integrity tests or shelf life (moisture pick up) tests
  • Equipment for making nutritional assays if attention to any specific nutrient is made on any pack
  • pH measurement
  • Equipment associated with analysis of competitors' products, e.g. fat content of biscuits and creams
  • Chocolate testing