Swift new lab

Swift Silliker branches into chemistry testing

After 22 years as market leaders in microbiological testing in South Africa, August 2013 marks the beginning of a new era for Swift Silliker, with the launch this week of a new state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory, and no doubt adding a valuable service offering to the food-beverage industries that’s especially timeous for compliance with the new labelling regulations. [Click pic to enlarge]

“The opening of this laboratory is in response to on-going market demands for Swift Silliker to broaden our scope and become a one-stop service provider to the industry, after offering our clients a sub-contracting service for nutritional analysis since 2011,” says Swift Silliker’s Anza Bester.

The project plan for the new chemistry laboratory started in August 2012 with the acquisition of an additional 350m2 of floor space adjacent to its current premises in Midrand.

The project was managed by a multi-national team of experts from across the Silliker global network, utilising the best laboratory lay-outs, methodologies and equipment specifications from within the group of 70 Silliker laboratories.

Bester says that once the project plans were in place, the building project and sourcing of technically qualified staff and state-of-the-art chemistry equipment, commenced. The local senior chemistry analyst and a French expert who had been earmarked to relocate to South Africa for a year to assist with the implementation of the project, received intensive training at Silliker’s chemistry laboratories in France and Spain.

Upon their return to South Africa, extensive method validations were initiated in January 2013, which culminated with the laboratory being recommended for ISO 17025 accreditation by SANAS in August 2013.

Swift SillikerSwift Silliker’s initial chemistry offering:

After a thorough evaluation of customer demand and the requirements of the SA labelling regulations, Swift says it has included the following analyses and test methods, with more to be added as customers demand.

• Dairy Products

– Determination of Moisture and Total Solid Content

– Determination of Total Fat Content in Dairy products

• Dairy Products, Fruit juices & concentrates

– Determination of protein content by Kjeldahl method

• Food Products

– Determination of protein content by Dumas method

– Determination of sodium by atomic absorption

– Determination of pH

– Determination of sugar by HPLC

– Determination of Total Dietary Fibre

– Determination of Moisture and Total Solid Content

– Determination of Fatty Acids by GC

– Determination of Total Fat Content

– Determination of Ash Content

• Cereal and Cereal Products, Nuts and nut products, fruit products

– Determination of Aflatoxins (B1; B2; G1 & G2) by HPLC

Bester says that the turn-around time for analyses will be 10 – 15 business days. Swift will continue to ship samples to Silliker laboratories in Europe where analyses, methods and product matrices are not included in its ambit.

“Validations are already underway to enable us to add additional analyses such as cholesterol and starch to our existing testing portfolio. We also plan to extend our service offering to include other groups of mycotoxins in the near future,” notes Bester.

Other services added to the Swift Silliker inventory this year include a food labelling consulting service, and physical testing services

Swift Silliker: www.swift.co.za