The fourteen ingredients most frequently eliciting hypersensitivities to food in Europe, according to European law, have to be labelled even if the product contains only smallest amounts. We support the economy by analysing all allergens according to EU Directive 2003/89/EG and 2006/142/EG or LMKV, respectively, through labelling tests and expert opinions (e.g. for marketability). Besides we are accredited for the inspection of official counter samples according to §43 LFGB. The labelling of allergens makes it easier for everyone allergic to certain types of food when shopping for suitable products.
Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
(from 10 milligram per kilogram or litre)
Molluscs (such as escargots)
WESSLING Laboratories test food allergens with the help of modern ELISA-, PCR- and enzymatic procedures. A knowledgeable team of food chemists and biologists conclusively supports you in evaluating the marketability of your products. Our accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 provides you with the worldwide acknowledgement of our results.
A number of agricultural raw materials are now obtained from genetically modified organisms. However, consumer acceptance in Germany and the EU is still very low.
Genetic modification provides micro-organisms, plants and animals with new or altered characteristics that aim at targeted improved utilisation. The thus created genetically modified organisms (GMO) are subject to definition as per Directive 2001/18/E (Release Directive).
Examples of GMOs include:
foodstuffs that are GMOs in themselves, e.g. soya, maize, linseed
foodstuffs that contain GMOs, e.g. yoghurt with genetically modified micro-organisms
foodstuffs that are manufactured using GMOs, e.g. oil from GM-rapeseed or GM-soya beans
Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 and Regulation (EC) 1830/2003
The wide range of potential applications of genetic engineering and the worldwide increase of cultivation of genetically modified plants have resulted in the establishment of comprehensive regulations at EC level governing the approval and extended GMO labelling, including Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 (on genetically modified food and feed - placing on the market) and Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 (concerning the traceability and labelling). The various EC regulations and guidelines are augmented by national law.
According to Regulation (EC) 1829/2003, foodstuffs, food additives and feedstuffs that contain random or technically unavoidable traces of GMOs or products manufactured from GMOs of up to 0.9% (threshold) are exempt from the labelling requirements. This threshold applies within the EC for approved GMOs in terms of the foodstuff or, in the case of foods containing several ingredients, the respective ingredient.
Safety through PCR (polymerase chain reaction)
The testing to ensure adherence to statutory regulations regarding the presence of GMOs, their approval and correct labelling is carried out using modern moleculobiological methods of analysis, mainly different PCR (polymerase chain reaction) techniques, which provide a high degree of analytical safety due to their sensitivity and selectivity.
WESSLING offers you a range of different moleculobiological analyses for screening as well as the specific verification and quantification of GMO percentages in food and feedstuffs. These include:
screening for the general detection of GMOs, for example, 35S and FMV promoter, NOS terminator
qualitative detection procedures, for example, maize (Bt11, Bt176, Mon810), soya (RR) and many others
quantitative detection procedures, for example, maize, soya and many others
Our accreditation as per DIN EN ISO 17025 ensures you of global recognition of our results.
A regulation for the voluntary labelling of foodstuffs with the logo 'Ohne Gentechnik' (GMO-free) was introduced in 2008 to provide consumers with more clarity about products. This label was introduced by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
The logo is awarded via the Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik e.V. (VLOG - Association Food without Genetic Engineering) on the basis of the BMEL's stipulations and strict criteria. The following conditions must be met:
constituents from GM-plants are not permissible in foodstuffs
random or technically unavoidable traces are not tolerated in foodstuffs
food additives, vitamins, amino acids and aromas that were manufactured by using GM-micro-organisms must not be present in the foodstuff
GM-enzymes must not be used in the processing of foodstuffs
The labelling of foodstuffs as per Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers had to be implemented by December 2014.
NEW: The food label must highlight allergens
A significant change in the labelling of foodstuffs in accordance with the Food Information to Consumers Regulation concerns allergens: they have to be highlighted in the ingredients list, for example, by bold print, CAPITAL LETTERS or colour. Allergens have to be identified also for unpacked foods, 'bulk ware'.
NEW: More space for the ingredients list
Lists of ingredients will in future require more space, as the Food Information to Consumers Regulation stipulates the x-height, which applies to all mandatory information: small letters such as a, e, o, u and the eponymous x have to be 1.2 mm in height. The lettering may be 25% smaller only on packaging with a largest surface of less than 80 cm2.
NEW: 'Big 7' instead of 'Big 4'
According to the Food Information to Consumers Regulation, a nutrition declaration ('Big 7') will be mandatory for almost all foodstuffs in future. Information about the content of saturated fatty acids, sugar and salt is required in addition to the hitherto permissible small nutrition declaration ('Big 4'). Other information, for example, about dietary fibre content, is optional. After all, dietary fibre has been included in the calorific value calculation since 2009. The transitional period for the nutrition declaration will end in December 2016.
Food labelling – More examples of change at a glance:
designation of origin for meat as well as potentially for the primary ingredient
date of freezing for certain frozen products
the indication 'thawed' for food that has been thawed prior to sale
information about the specific origin of vegetable oils and fats in the ingredients list
changes in the information about added water for meat and meat preparations
Unresolved issues are clarified in the 59 recitals, seven chapters containing 55 articles and 15 annexes of the Food Information to Consumers Regulation.
Label check as per Food Information to Consumers Regulation and nutrition assessment of products
Or discuss detailed questions with the experts at WESSLING. We already assess labels and layouts as per the Food Information to Consumers Regulation. We are happy to ascertain the nutritional value of your products.
Mycotoxins are predominantly generated by the mould species Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium. Because of their to some extent considerable stability, these substances often survive processing and conservation. This constitutes a great challenge for all links in the food and feedstuffs production chain.
Aflatoxins are the best described representatives of the family of mycotoxins. They are highly toxic to the liver and highly carcinogenic and are generated by Aspergillus flavus and other kinds of mould. Distinction is made between different compounds (Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2), which share the same basic structure, a furocumarin system. Their fluorescence characteristics (B = blue, G = green fluorescence under UV light) are of great value also for analytical verification. If lactating livestock ingest feedstuffs containing aflatoxins, their milk contains, for example, aflatoxin M1, which was formed in the body from aflatoxin B1 (M = metabolised).
Patulin, which is predominantly generated by Penicillum expansum, is mainly found in apple and pear products when rotten fruit was included in their production. Brown decay spots can exhibit up to 1 g patulin/kg. Patulin has a toxic effect on the liver and is carcinogenic in animal tests.
Fusaria infest in particular corn and maize, usually already on the field; they can occur also in the event of unfavourable storage conditions. Fusaria can generate a number of mycotoxins with very different structures.
Deoxynivalenol is a trichothecene and probably the most frequently occurring mycotoxin in food and feedstuffs. The synonymously used name vomitoxin indicates one of its effects, vomiting; in addition, diarrhoea and skin reactions are frequent complaints after its ingestion through food. A carcinogenic and genetically harmful effect has not been described.
Zearalenone is likewise generated by various species of Fusaria, in part also by those generating deoxynivalenol. Zearalenone is of low toxicity, but is highly oestrogenic and anabolic.
Fumonisins are generated by Fusarium moliniforme. This fungus is mostly found on maize. Fumonisins have a carcinogenic effect on the liver and act as a tumour promoter.
Ochratoxin A was first identified in Aspergillus ochraceus. By now it is known that it is predominantly generated also by other species of Aspergillus in warmer climates and by species of Penicillum in moderate climates. Contamination is known to occur mostly in corn, coffee, cocoa, grapes, peanuts and dried fruit. It is teratogenic, cancerogenic and immunosuppressive in addition to damaging the kidneys and liver.
European and German law stipulate thresholds for mycotoxins for food and feedstuffs.
Our services in the field of mycotoxin analysis:
Due to their to some extent very high toxicity, the analysis of mycotoxins places extremely high demands on analysis methods. At our WESSLING laboratories, experienced employees work with state-of-the-art analysis technology for the sensitive, fast and reliable assay of these substances in food and feedstuffs. They use column and immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparation techniques and subsequent high performance liquid chromatography and tandem, mass spectrometry, UV photodiode array and fluorescence detection. The quality of our analyses is ensured by regular internal and external performance checks, enabling us to guarantee you the highest degree of reliability.
A competent team of food analysts, chemists and biologists subsequently supports you in assessing the marketability of your products. Experienced experts are certified for the analysis of official check tests as per Article 43 of the German Food and Feed Code (LFGB).
Our accreditation as per DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 ensures you global recognition of our results.
WESSLING offers you a competent team of experts for the analysis and assessment of pesticide residues in food and feedstuffs; using state-of-the-art measuring instruments and methods, they produce reliable results and expert assessments.
Pesticides – Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 and Rückstands-Höchstmengenverordnung (RHmV – German Maximum Residue Level Regulation)
Pesticides, insecticides, preservatives and some other substance groups are generally subsumed under the heading of pesticides. They are frequently used in agricultural production to optimise yield. Residues from this application and their metabolites may remain in food and feedstuffs. The permissible amounts are regulated by statutory maximum levels.
Pesticide residue analysis
The used measuring devices include state-of-the-art GC-MS and LC-MS systems. In contrast to classical detection methods, the use of mass spectrometry detection methods offers additional security and thus ensures matrix-independent, reliable identification and quantification even in complex samples such as tea and spices. This ensures testing of all maximum and guidance levels (such as the orientation level set down by the Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren (BNN - German Association of Organic Processors, Wholesalers and Retailers)).
Our pesticide screening (GC + LC) comprises more than 520 active agents and metabolites. The list of active agents is constantly adapted to reflect the latest developments. The service is further complemented by individual methods testing for other active agents as illustrated in the overview at the bottom of this page.
In addition to classical pesticides, increased focus is placed on substances that enter into foodstuffs as contaminants yet at the same time are classified as pesticides, for example, chlorate and quaternary ammonium cations (BAC, DDAC). These 'crossers' place special demands on analysis and assessment.
Assessment and marketability of foodstuffs
A team of food analysts subsequently supports you in the assessment of the marketability of your products and offers you a maximum degree of safety and quality by use of state-of-the-art analysis devices.
The annexes of the Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticide, in force across the EU, specify maximum levels for a large number of active agents. These annexes are constantly revised. Yet also the 'old' German Maximum Residue Level Regulation (RHmV) remains of importance in certain niche areas, such as regarding synergists as well as fish and other marine animals. Special regulations regarding pesticide residues apply to dietary foodstuffs for infants; furthermore, biologically produced foodstuffs are subject to more severe assessments regarding pesticide residues.
In addition to food regulatory standards, the adherence to specifications set out by the food retail industry plays an increasing role. We are happy to extend our assessment to include these upon request.
Pesticide residue analysis in foodstuffs – Our range of services
QuEChERS (GC-MS and LC-MS/MS screening for more than 520 active agents and metabolites)
inorganic total bromine
fosetyl aluminium and phosphorous acid
quaternary ammonium cations (BAC, DDAC)
chlorate and perchlorate
PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls)
pesticides as per the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.)
pesticides in baby food as per DiätV (German Diet Regulation)
pesticides as per QS feedstuffs monitoring
sampling (as per ASU L 00.00-7 (EC), checking of pesticide residues in and on products of plant and animal origin)
Our accreditations and approvals
accredited laboratory for residue monitoring of fruit and vegetables and for feedstuffs monitoring of QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH
accredited laboratory for residue monitoring 'Fresh fruit and vegetables' and 'Processed fruit and vegetables' of Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren e.V. (BNN)
accredited laboratory fruit monitoring (HDE Handelsverband Deutschland - German Retail Association)
accredited laboratory 4fresh (soon: Fresh.Point) (DFHV Deutscher Fruchthandelsverband - German Fruit Retail Association)
certified for the analysis of official check tests as per Article 43 of the German Food and Feed Code (LFGB)
Our accreditation as per DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 ensures you of global recognition of our results.
offers you products from these product groups: