Food testing has seen large strides in progress as consumers are increasingly becoming more conscious about what goes into what they eat, what pesticides are used and whether the product was organically grown. As consumer demands and perceptions change, there are a number of growing trends within the food testing industry.
1. New Testing Methods for Pesticides and Consumer Perceptions
One concern for consumers is the use of pesticides on crops. This is because pesticide residue on food can lead to an increased risk of cancer, reproduction and a potential to damage the nervous and immune systems. Worldwide, there are thousands of different chemicals used for pesticides to combat various problems such as fungi, mould and vermin infestations. This can make testing for pesticides a lengthy and arduous process, and researchers are developing new methods to better detect pesticides and chemicals. Increasingly, pesticide testing has shifted from electrospray ionisation towards micro-plasma testing, which provides more detection possibilities.
Glyphosate, a popular herbicide used on plants, has garnered worldwide criticism due to the adverse health effects associated with consumption, and we can expect to see a reduction in use and an increase in testing for said chemical.
2. Globalisation Is Leading To Increased Business
With the food industry becoming almost totally globalised, consumers are now more concerned than ever about the authenticity of their food, and the authenticity of nutritional labels. As consumers demand producers to be more transparent, and as regulations and laws become stricter, the food-testing industry will be poised to see substantial growth in business. As more and more products are made available to consumers from across the world, they will undoubtedly need to be tested and approved before being put to market.
3. Automation and Faster Testing
A key area that the food testing industry needs to focus on is automation and fast results. As mentioned before, with more goods available on the market than ever before, and with little sign that this will change or decline, companies need to be able to produce faster results for food testing while still providing quality results. A key area that needs to be developed is automation in testing. Automation in testing will allow companies to cope with the increased workload, while also allowing researchers to improve the cost-effectiveness and accuracy of testing.
4. Demand for More Allergen Testing
While allergen testing has been available for consumers for years, they are now demanding better testing on products, better labelling and more testing for lesser-known allergies. Increasingly, more people are being diagnosed as lactose intolerant or gluten intolerant, which has led to the development of new techniques and testing methods which try to incorporate automation into their process.