Eurofins expands portfolio to meet food testing demands

By Mark Astley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Foodborne illness

Eurofins expands portfolio to meet food testing demands
Global food testing group Eurofins is expanding its portfolio to meet the increased demand for food safety testing.

The company, which provides food and environmental testing for organisations across the food sector including farmers associations, trade organisations, retailers and multi-national food manufacturers, declared that food contamination outbreaks are a “growing concern” in the world food market.

Portfolio boost

They have been working to boost their testing operations in order to meet current demands and any spikes caused by food contamination.

Its new testing centre in Nantes, which is the largest in the world, is dedicated to the bacteriological analysis of food, with particular emphasis on the detection of bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, legionella, E.coli, coliforms and staphylococci.

“We have a lot of scientists who are devising analytical methods, and also through the companies and laboratories that we acquire. It’s a matter of leading the market but also growing with the market,”​ said Eurofins spokeswoman Pamela Antay.

They also recently announced an acquisition agreement with Fondation Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) for two of its environmental testing subsidiaries, IPL Invest and IPL Santé Environnement Durable Nord (IPL SED Nord).

Eurofins made the agreement, which will see them acquire a 67% stake in the divisions, just a week after the opening of their new food testing facility in Nantes.

“As we acquire more companies, they bring on board additional technical know-how or additional analytical methods.”

Higher risk

In recent months a series of food contamination outbreaks, including the German dioxin and E.coli contaminations and the recent cantaloupe related listeria outbreak in the US, have triggered concern in the food sector.

Pamela Antay told that recent food contamination outbreaks can be partly credited to the rise of the world food trade.

Talking in reference to multi-national food producers she said, “if they start sourcing their raw materials from China, from India, from one of the developing countries,” ​then there’s always a higher risk that the quality of the grains or the pesticides would not be the same. ​She added that the need “for testing becomes even more acute.”

“Therefore there’s growing demand from the food producers, manufacturers and even food retailers to have their food tested before they actually sell them because testing doesn’t necessarily cost a lot, it’s not a huge cost item for the food manufacturers or even the food retailers.”

However, she was quick to play down any kind of food safety panic within the sector, instead attributing the added concern to increased coverage in the mainstream media.

“The fact is that consumers are more and more aware now of what they’re putting in their mouths, so there’s growing concern from the consumer, there’s growing regulations from the regulatory bodies and governments to protect the consumers.”

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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