Physical contamination analysis

When a physical contamination issue hits, you need rapid, reliable and accurate analysis. Our technical experts understand the urgency and will give you the information you need to take appropriate action.


Consumer complaints related to physical contamination or the identification of a foreign body have the potential to damage brand reputation. Whether it’s a fragment of plastic or traces of particulates, this type of discovery raises questions about product safety and threatens consumer loyalty. It demands immediate attention. You need to know what has been found and how it got there. Only then can you decide whether the best course of action is consumer reassurance, a production fix or a product recall. And we can help.


Our experienced food analysts will carry out a series of targeted investigations to find the root cause of the issue, quickly and accurately. Key insights include:


  • Identity of the physical contamination / foreign body
  • Possible origins of the problem
  • Whether the incident occurred in the consumer’s home
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    Physical contaminants


    Our rapid and routine procedures can identify common physical contaminants including:


    • Glass, plastics, metal, hairs and fibres, meat residues and bone fragments, faecal matter, tablets and particulates, mineral fragments, insects and larvae, haze in beverages, deposits, discolouration
  • SEM1 RD 4311 HR


    • Confocal Raman Microscope
    • Light Microscopy
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    • X-ray Microanalysis (XMA)
    • Thermal Probe-MS
    • X-ray Microfluorescence (XMF)
    • FTIR Spectroscopy analysis (Fourier-Transform InfraRed (FTIR) Spectroscopy)
    • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
    • X-ray Tomography
    • Cryo Scanning Electron Microscopy
    • Image Analysis

Foreign material reference library


We can also work with you to establish a robust reference system of potential physical contaminants and foreign bodies. All you need to do is provide us with samples of materials that may come into contact with your product during the manufacturing process. Using a range of different analytical techniques, we then build a searchable reference library for future root cause investigations.

24/7 Emergency Response Service

From contamination, product tampering and allergen contamination to packaging failure, our 24-hour Emergency Response Service (ERS) helps our members make critical decisions at the right time

Contact us

Need to get in touch? Please complete the enquiry form or call us on:

Switchboard: +44 (0)118 918 4000

Customer Services: +44 (0)118 918 4076

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