1. Home
  2. Food
  3. Services
  4. Food Testing
  5. Food Contaminants and Residues
Food Contaminants and Residues

Food Contaminants and Residues

Mérieux NutriSciences worldwide network of accredited laboratories supports the food industry with a wide range of food contaminants testing services.

Strict regulations over food products and packaging keep increasing worldwide. Mérieux NutriSciences worldwide regulatory experts already gathered more than 1,200 food regulatory updates and drafts worldwide in 2021 (Reference: Regulatory Update online platform.)

Our Food Contaminants Testing Services

Our testing centres of excellence in South Africa and abroad employ approved methods for the detection of contaminants including pesticides, mycotoxins, dioxins, veterinary drugs, heavy metals and radioactive substances. We also provide specialized services for allergens (link), and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (link). 

We utilize a range of advanced analytical tools and methods for quantitative analysis of contaminants and residues: UHPLC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS triple quadruple, HPLC/MS/MS (Ion Trap) and UHPLC/Exactive (OrbiTrap Technologies), UHPLC/DAD/TOF  for fast and accurate results.

Mérieux NutriSciences South Africa provides food safety testing services for a wide range of food contaminants. Our worldwide laboratories provide fast turnaround times and expert support for contaminants testing.

Expert testing for food contaminants

Veterinary Drugs

Mérieux NutriSciences provides reliable contaminants testing for over 100 veterinary drugs (hormones, beta-agonists, NSAIDs, antibiotics, etc.) in a wide variety of food matrices. Depending on your needs and matrices we can offer single or multi-screening methods (LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS).


Mycotoxins are naturally occurring chemical substances produced by moulds (fungi) that may contaminate agricultural commodities like nuts, grains and cereals, spices, and dried fruit. Foods contaminated with mycotoxins can sometimes cause acute illness and are associated with increased cancer risks from long-term exposure. Many countries have adopted regulations to limit consumer exposure to mycotoxins. Among the most requested are Aflatoxins, Fumonisins, Patuline, Trichothecenes and Octratoxins.

Pesticides Testing

Human health concerns posed by the presence of pesticides in food and feed products are prompting governments in developed and developing countries to establish strict regulatory standards for their use.

Our highly skilled staff can help ensure your product meets regulatory requirements in countries around the world for over 600 different pesticides. Mérieux NutriSciences offers expert testing in a full range of matrices including cereals, fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, fat and beverages.

Dioxins, furans and PCBs

Dioxins is a name commonly given to a class of chlorinated compounds that, together with dioxin-like PCBs and furans, persist in the environment, accumulate in the food chain and can cause a host of adverse health effects in humans. In recent years, problems related to the harmful effects of dioxins on humans and the environment has prompted growing concern worldwide.

Mérieux NutriSciences has over 10 years of experience in dioxin and PCB testing in foodstuffs and environmental matrices such as water and soil. We can help you ensure the safety and integrity of your products in accordance with global regulatory standards.

Heavy metals

Low levels of toxic heavy metals present as residues in food can affect human health adversely. Mérieux NutriSciences provides routine testing for arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and others, employing ICP/MS to meet high sensitivity even in very complex matrices and in baby food.


Even low levels of radiation can cause human health problems, including cancer, heart disease, or immune disorders.

Mérieux NutriSciences’ radioactivity labs measure ionizing radiation in food and water for human consumption, animal feed and environmental matrices:  measurement of gamma-emitting radionuclides, quantification of total alpha- and beta-activities and determination of tritium in waters.

The most commonly tested matrices are: mushrooms, blackberries, meat, fish, herbal products, eggs, milk, cheese, fruit juices, feed, waters

Our radioactivity screening methods include all main radioactive nuclides which can be identified and quantified, among them the most common Cesium 134, Cesium 137 and Iodine 31.

Are you looking for another type of test? Do you need help to minimise unwanted contaminants on your products? Ask about the full range of testing capabilities available in our analytical chemistry portfolio.

Find a laboratory

Do you want to know how Mérieux NutriSciences can support you locally?

Share it with your network
View locations
Contact us Do you need to speak to our experts?
Contact Us
Mérieux NutriSciences Corporation ©2022