As chromatography grew in popularity, industries such as pharmaceuticals and chemicals began using the method, but one industry that uses chromatography extensively is the food industry. Chromatography allows the food industry to provide accurate information about the nutrients in a particular food and much more. To learn more about the different applications of chromatography in the food industry, read our guide below.
Detecting contaminants and additives
Food manufacturers must uphold high standards because consuming a spoiled or low-quality product could result in serious illness. Food companies test their products regularly to ensure goods are safe and meet all FDA requirements. Many food companies will run several tests before their products reach shelves, and one of the most important tests uses chromatography. Professionals will use chromatography to separate mixtures and test the product for contaminants that could lead to bacterial spoilage. Additionally, as food additives became more common, the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 made the FDA responsible for regulating food additives. That said, food companies must prove they’re meeting regulations by using chromatography to separate mixtures and identify additives.
Analyzing the nutritional quality
Even with the rise of GMOs and non-organic food, quality goods are still important and required by the FDA. Chromatography allows food companies to identify the components in the food. Companies analyze their products for nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, preservatives, and more. By using chromatography, they can test their products for nutritional quality. The FDA requires most packaged goods to have a nutritional facts label that accurately describes the ingredients of the product.
While there are several applications of chromatography in the food industry, we described the most common previously. Many food companies attempt to improve their manufacturing process by using different additives and preservatives, which requires further testing methods to ensure the safety of their products. However, chromatography is the most versatile method by far, and many companies can do most of the required testing with a chromatography machine.
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