Enva Ireland has announced that its laboratory in Cork has been accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to undertake independent gluten free testing.
Manufacturers, restaurants and food services providers who advertise as gluten free have a legal obligation to have their claims independently tested. INAB is the national body with responsibility for the accreditation of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies.
The Coeliac Society are the main drivers behind this and has responded to the Enva news, saying: “This testing is not only a requirement if you wish to verify the gluten free status of your products, but is a requirement of entry to the annual gluten free Food List published by the Coeliac Society, the definitive list of gluten free products in Ireland.”
The managing director of Enva Ireland, Simon Dick, said that the company was continuing to invest in its laboratory services. “We have recently invested in state of the art technology which allows testing using ELISA techniques. Our laboratory service offering to the food sector now includes allergen testing as well as a wide range of microbiological tests for food manufacturers, distributors, caterers, restaurants and retailers.”
Enva’s ELISA-based testing systems, in conjunction with the kits of industry leader R-Biopharm, enable its Cork Laboratory to offer a range of quantitative testing for the presence of gluten, casein, β-lactoglobulin and egg in food products. These techniques are based upon antigen-antibody interaction to specific allergenic proteins and allow direct detection of the allergen.
In conjunction with rigorous risk analysis, tight supplier control, staff training and thoroughly researched HACCP plans, this kind of external allergen testing provides manufacturers with the peace of mind that the “free-from” products they are supplying meet the provisions of the legislation and standards.
For gluten, Enva uses the r-biopharm ridascreen gliadin test kit (AOAC-RI approved; Mendez extraction, R5 antibody), which is widely regarded as the best available formally validated ELISA for assessing final food product for gluten. This kit can quantifiably test to 5ppm across a range of matrices.
Enva’s staff have backgrounds in a range of industries, such as dairy, meat, animal feeds, bakery, brewing and shellfish, and regularly design bespoke shelf life testing schedules for the lab’s clients.
Enva prides itself on not only delivering robust analytical results, but it also offers bespoke and flexible services. Its specialised account managers work with clients to deliver innovative and proactive solutions for their specific testing requirements, with sample collection and rapid turnaround times for analyses as required.