Authentication Services

Authentication Services

QIB Extra offers a range of authentication services which use innovative approaches for characterising foods and ingredients, tackling issues relating to authentication and food composition and ensuring product integrity and food safety. This work makes a real, positive impact on the food supply chain, validates ingredient/product authenticity for purchasers, demonstrates traceability and ensures product integrity. The authentication team has expertise in using and developing a range of approaches to meet customers’ needs including analytical chemistry, spectroscopy, spectrometry, proteomics, microscopy and multivariate analysis.

We are able to undertake projects relating to standard analysis, such as assessing the authenticity of products provided, as well as more detailed inquiries relating to potential adulterations, including consultancies and investigative analysis. We are also interested in new challenges and products where adulteration may be an issue that may be new or as yet little researched.

Please see below further details on our authentication services;
Coffee Authentication 

Arabica coffee is widely available in shops and often sold at a premium when compared to robusta coffee products. It has however been demonstrated that products claiming to be 100 % arabica coffee may actually contain a proportion of robusta despite the product label.

Based on detection of 16-O-methylcafestol, or 16-OMC, in coffee via benchtop NMR, this analytical service provides rapid approach to evaluating arabica authenticity that is both cost-effective and reliable. The method is also highly sensitive with a detection limit of 2 %w /w robusta in Arabica, it is capable of detecting adulteration at levels that may be used for economic gain.
Should it be required, a further conformational test by LC-MS will provide quantification of the levels of 16-OMC detected. This is an additional cost to the standard service.
Watch our video below for a sneak peak into our authentication process and our premises at Quadram Institute.

Argan Oil Authetication 

In recent years, argan oil, also known as Moroccan liquid gold, has become sought after as an ingredient in cosmetics and health products, significantly increasing its value. This has lead to the emergence of products purporting to be argan oil that are either in part or wholly contain other cheaper oils.
A screen of 28 commercially available products labelled as 100 % argan oil found 4 that were not pure argan, strongly indicating adulteration with other oils and highlighting the need for purchasers to be sure of their supply chain. With demand for argan oil soaring, our new method can help protect consumers from fraud, and support honest producers and suppliers.
Using a benchtop NMR machine developed by Oxford Instruments, our method can screen for quality and authenticity, detecting when argan oil has been mixed with cheaper alternatives. With detailed reports provided to customers allowing them to make informed decisions passed in the robust evidence.

Buffalo Mozzarella Authetication 

Buffalo milk commands a premium price compared to cows’ milk and is used to make mozzarella cheese. Products labelled as “buffalo mozzarella” must be made solely with buffalo milk, and not with milk from any other species. Mozzarella can also be made with cows’ milk, but this is a much lower priced product. Buffalo mozzarella is thus a target for fraudsters, either through mislabelling of cow’s milk mozzarella, or by partial substitution of buffalo with cows’ milk during production.
QIB Extra offers a fast, reliable and cost effective service to ensure the authenticity of your mozzarella products. Testing can be done on either a whole mozzarella product or on melted samples.
Watch our video below for a sneak peak into our authentication process and our premises at Quadram Institute.


Authentication of Oils and Meat Origin 

QIB Extra offers a rapid profiling of the triglycerides in foods with a high fat content, such as edible oils, meat and meat products. Using this approach a number of high-throughput screening applications have been developed which can be used to investigate issues relating to food fraud, authenticity and product quality. This has included :
  • Detecting Fraudulent Substitution of Beef with other Animal Species
  • Profiling Fatty Acids in Edible Oils
  • Compositional Analysis of Complex Food Products
The analysis is quick and provides quantitative information on the contents of the different fatty acids present in the material analysed. These values can be used to provide labelling information, or to verify species – of seed and nut oils and animal fats and extracts, for example, from fresh and frozen meat.
The applied technique used for these services utilises a benchtop NMR, using the new PulsarTM instrument.
For more information on any of these authetication services or up to date pricing please contact us on or +44 (0)1603 255 342.

Bespoke Scientific Research

Including food science and innovation, gut health (inc. microbiome) and microbes in the food chain.

Clostridium botulinum Challenge Testing

QIB Extra tests for toxin types B and E as these are the common toxins associated with chilled food products however tests for other botulinum toxins are also available.

Food Safety - Microbiology

QIB Extra offers a rapid, confidential and cost-effective way to address your microbiological needs.

Analysis of Food Bioactives

Food Bioactives, particularly plant-based bioactives, are the focus of intense research with regards to their beneficial health properties.


Tap into the expertise of Quadram Institute Bioscience Research Group Leaders through QIB Extra.

Food Quality / Nutritional Analysis

QIB Extra can help your business in all aspects of food quality; shelf-life, authenticity, texture analysis and product consistency.

Facilities and Equipment

The Quadram Institute building contains a range of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including a clinical research facility and Level 3 laboratory (CL3). 


National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) provides a range of yeast related services for the brewing and baking industry and academic researchers. 




Nutritional Information Solutions (NIS)

Nutritional Information Solutions provides a cost effective service to calculate front and back of pack food labelling for food producers.  

Applied Contract Research and Analytical Services for Industry

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