RSSL offers a broad range of techniques and in-depth expertise when it comes to the physical characterisation of raw materials and finished food products.

We are UKAS accredited for the following tests:-

  • Water activity
  • Karl Fischer (moisture content)
  • Particle size (laser diffraction)
  • Thermal analysis via DSC

We use a range of techniques including Scanning Electron Microscopy, X-ray tomography, light and confocal laser scanning microscopy to quantitatively and qualitatively determine the microstructure of food. We can assist in the evaluation of nano-sized particles to aid quality control and development of food products and ingredients.

Our capabilities in particle sizing

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Raw material characterisation

We can help evaluate novel raw materials for inclusion in your product, compare materials from different suppliers or to expand on the potentially limited data provided in supplier’s certificates of analysis. Additionally, we can assist in troubleshooting the root cause of unexpected behaviour or poor performance of food constituents.

Finished product characterisation

The delivery of high quality, stable products to the consumer is crucial to any business. We can support your product development and quality assurance activities by applying individual or suites of complementary analytical tests and provide you with the necessary interpretation to enable you to make key decisions.


Particle sizing via static light scattering (Malvern 2000/3000)

Nanoparticle sizing and Zeta potential (Malvern Zetasizer)

Sieving (mechanical and airjet) – alternative to Mastersizer used for larger particles

Microscopy (light, confocal and SEM). Investigating the shape, surface and aggregation of particles

Texture and packaging (Stable Microsystems TA-XT)

Viscosity and rheology

Internal structural analysis (Bruker Skyscan X-Ray Tomography)

Moisture (Karl Fischer, water activity and Dynamic Vapour Sorption – DVS)

Density (tapped/bulk for powders, displacement and cup for semi-solids, Stable Microsystems Volscan)

Powder flow (Brookfield shear cell)

Thermal properties (Differential Scanning Calorimetry - DSC) including melting point, degree of crystallisation, glass transition temperature and specific heat capacity.

Specific surface area via BET

Emulsion stability using LUMiSizer

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR)

Solid fat content (low resolution NMR)

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