Food Taint Investigation

We have one of the most experienced food taint analysis and investigation teams in the world. Trust us to identify taints using the most appropriate analytical methods, and to conduct thorough root cause analysis.

Food Taint Investigation

When food taints occur, quick action is imperative to avoid loss of consumer confidence, brand damage and costly product recalls. Rapid identification of the taint and its source is required to make the right risk management decisions as soon as possible.

Analysis of taints in food can be complex and challenging. Food taints result from foreign chemical contamination in food, which can occur at any point of the global food supply chain. The contaminant may be present at extremely low levels (sub-ppb) and thus be difficult to detect. Off-flavours, meanwhile, are caused by internal deterioration due to poor control in food production – in processing parameters, for example – insufficient hygiene control, or lack of packaging integrity.

Our team has significant, in-depth industry knowledge as well as technical expertise in taint analysis. We follow robust analytical procedures using specialist techniques to determine the compound(s) responsible for off-flavours and taint as part of taint analysis. We then either advise on further taint analysis, or take investigative action to determine root cause and prevent future occurrence.

Taint Investigation - Video 

Watch the video below to find out more about taint investigation and how we can support you

Our Emergency Response Service (ERS) members are guaranteed a response 24/7, any day of the year, in emergency situations such as serious product taints.

We can help with:-

  • Customer complaints
  • Flavour deterioration on storage
  • Off flavours in new product development
  • Taint analysis from packaging
  • Lipid oxidation

Techniques we use:-

  • Steam distillation extraction and liquid extraction
  • Headspace (static/purge and trap)
  • Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME)
  • Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction (SBSE)
  • Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)
  • Gas Chromatography - Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC-TOF)
  • Gas Chromatography - Tandem Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS)

More Resources

Specialist Scientific Services - RSSL Brochure
Read More >

The Challenges of Flavour Analysis: Comparison and Choices of Extraction Technique - White Paper
Read More >

Avoiding Customer Complaints: Origins of Food Taints and Off-flavours - White Paper
Read More >


For any questions regarding our services, getting a proposal or submitting samples, please contact the team on:

t: +44 (0)118 918 4076