Fera Science Limited can analyse food or feed samples to measure levels of nitrate and nitrite. The methods used are fully compliant with EU contaminants legislation to allow you to assess your compliance with regulatory limits in place.
The method used is fully accredited to ISO17025 for food samples and is based on ion chromatography with UV detection. Matrix specific extraction and clean-up protocols allow the analysis to respond optimally for several challenging matrices so we can be sure the results produced are fit for purpose, accurate and precise.
Nitrates themselves are not highly toxic, nitrites which can be formed from them are, hence monitoring nitrate levels in food and feed is important and limited in some foods.
In the human body, nitrites can transform haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, into methaemoglobin, a form which is unable to carry oxygen. This is especially dangerous for infants up to 6 months old. Nitrites are also able to react with other food components, such as secondary or tertiary amines and amides to form well recognized carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, the so called nitrosamines/amides.
In ruminant animals, nitrate is converted to nitrite by bacteria in the rumen and then into ammonia which can result in potential ammonia toxicosis.
Therefore, naturally occurring levels of nitrates in spinach (fresh, preserved, deep-frozen or frozen), fresh lettuce, ‘Iceberg’ type lettuce, Rucola and processed cereal-based foods and baby foods for infants and young children are limited as described in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1258/2011.
Furthermore, nitrates are permissible for use in foods as preservatives and, as such, are controlled as additives which are legislated under regulation (EU) 1333/2008. FC24 is an essential source of up to date legislative requirements (www.fc24.eu).
Standard Turnaround Time
|10 working days|
|Ion Chromatography UV|
LOD (limit of detection)
|Reporting limit 5 mg/kg nitrate, 1 mg/kg nitrite|
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