Honey Testing

Quality control and honey testing should be carried out if the honey is intended for sale.

Knowing that you are producing a wholesome and a non injurious product is essential to any food producing business, beekeeping is no different. The standards laid down for the sale of food products have to be upheld. Beekeeping must meet standards of hygiene and food safety that exist today.

Some testing can be done simply at home, but other tests are a laboratory job and will cost considerable sums to achieve, although having a certificate may convince people for the batch tested, any subsequent batches cannot be linked back to any certification without re-testing.

Tests can be carried out in order to detect levels of individual substances as listed in the classes below.


Chlordimeform   Coumaphos   Fluvalinate   Amitraz


Chloramphenicol   Oxytetracycline (OTC)   Streptomycin

Enzymes and breakdown products

Diastase (Amylase)   Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)   Moisture content

The Profile or ratio of sugars present in a sample can also be determined. Adulteration of honey with other sweeteners can be detected as can the use of ultra filtering.

Microbiological analysis can be done. Yeasts or moulds can be tested for aswell as bacterial forms – APC, Botulinum, Coliforms, Salmonella and others are testable, but mostly this requires laboratory analysis.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of certain antibiotics in food production. Treatment of bees with these antibiotics may result in residues in bee products, potentially causing increased drug resistance and allergic reaction in humans.

  • Chloramphenicol
  • Fluoroquinolones (Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Sarafloxacin, Difloxacin, Norfloxacin)
  • Metabolites of nitrofurans (Furazolidone – AOZ, Nitrofurantoin – AH, Nitrofurazone – SC, Furaldtadone – AMOZ)
    • Pesticide residues and bee repellant chemicals are also a concern in bee products. ECAL offers testing of selected pesticide residues known to be a risk in bee products, based on FDA residue surveys and known agricultural practices. Please contact us for more information and an updated list of these offerings.

      Pesticide Residue Testing

      Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories (ECAL) offers a variety of pesticide screening services that are based on industry or government accepted screens and also tailored to individual customers.

      • Pesticide screens using methodology for common agricultural products published in the U.S. FDA Pesticide Analytical Manual, and unpublished FDA methods in the form of Laboratory Information Bulletins (LIB) obtained from established workers, such as Jon Wong, Greg Mercer, and Milton Luke. We have an ongoing dialog with these FDA workers to resolve problems with difficult food matrices.
      • Technical information published by the California Department of Food and Agriculture is used for quick screens on routine produce and food commodities.
      • European Methods such as S-19 and the European Pharmacopeia.
      • Methods for botanicals and botanical extracts based on USP methods with GC-MS or LC-MSMS determination.
      • Methods published in the Journal of AOAC International for many of the herbicide classes which are somewhat polar, and / or require LC-MSMS determination.
      • AOCS methods for nonpolar pesticides in fats and oils, which we find to be an excellent cleanup method for vegetable oils.
      • Japanese regulatory methods for screening produce for pesticides.
      • ECAL’s scientists have also developed in-house modifications of published methods for the analysis of animal-derived or plant-derived products used in food ingredients, nutraceuticals, or pharmaceuticals. These are difficult matrices for which published method frequently do not exist.

      Because of this broad experience with various sample types, our chemists can usually develop a custom method for a new product or ingredient without delays. ECAL has an active pesticide inventory of over 500 agricultural chemical compounds and uses a variety of specialized equipment to perform these analyses. We also offer method development services, usually based on an hourly rate. The scope of these projects can range from a simple validation of an existing method for a new chemical or new product, to a full GMP-compliant or ICH method development project. Pricing for these projects are by request.

      Acrylamide Testing

      Acrylamide was first discovered to be present in certain foods cooked at high temperatures as the result of work announced in Sweden in April 2002. Since then, a joint panel of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that more research is needed to achieve a better understanding of its health implications. While acrylamide is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals, no studies of the relationship between acrylamide and cancer in humans have been done.

      In response to recent industry concerns regarding the presence of acrylamide in foods, Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories (ECAL) has implemented an analytical method for providing reliable and highly sensitive detection and quantification of acrylamide.

      Using the API 4000, one of the most sensitive Triple Quad LC-MS-MS systems in the world, a method employed by ECAL is sensitive to 10 parts per billion. This LC-MS-MS method has been validated in most foods of concern both by European researchers and by the Food and Drug Administration. The method is based on High Pressure Liquid Chromatography with tandem mass spectrometer detection. It is highly sensitive, and is completely specific for acrylamide in many difficult food matrices, even at low concentrations. It is the method of choice for all food safety and research needs.

      Mycotoxin Testing

      Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals produced naturally by certain mold species that are commonly found in many grain products, nuts, and feeds. The molds primarily responsible for producing mycotoxins are Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillin. Mycotoxin contamination found in bulk grain storage can be very poorly distributed. One kernel of highly contaminated corn in a 10 lb sample can result in as much as 10 ppb of Aflatoxin. Thus, sampling requires experience, good technique, and adherence to industry recommended practices.

      In the laboratory, proper handling is just as critical to accurate testing results. Procedures at Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories (ECAL) for grinding, mixing, and splitting the sample go well beyond published methods. Sample weight selection for grinding and weighing is based on proven demonstrations of homogeneity and test reproducibility.

      Modern ELISA technology provides sensitive and accurate data necessary to meet most commercial contractual specifications. ECAL commonly uses Neogen Veratox ELISA technology.

      Confirmation of ELISA results, or where the highest level of accuracy is required, other methods may also be performed, especially in mixed feeds and grain by-products. ECAL performs published AOAC methods and modern HPLC and GC equipment to perform these confirmations, including:

      • Thermo Separation HPLCs with fluorescence detectors for aflatoxin analysis.
      • Applied Biosystems LC-MSMS for analysis of aflatoxin, zearalenone, fumonisin, ochratoxin, DON, tricothecenes and citrinin. This instrument provides the ultimate selectivity and sensitivity for these difficult classes. Typical detection limits of less than 1ppb are routine.

      Veterinary Drug Residue Testing

      Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories (ECAL) offers the most comprehensive array of veterinary drug residues in seafood, milk, honey, meat, and feed products. Because of our broad experience with a variety of sample types, our scientists can provide solutions to your commercial needs. ECAL has an active veterinary drug inventory of over 100 assay-certified chemical compounds. We participate in international ring-trials and validate our methods internally with other global Eurofins Labs. ECAL scientists are active members of the AOAC Subgroup Community for Veterinary Drug Residues.

      Veterinary Drug Residue testing required for FDA Seafood Import Alert System

      • Fluoroquinolones by FDA Method LIB 4405
      • Malachite Green, Crystal Violet, Brilliant Green by FDA Method LIB 4395
      • Nitrofuran Metabolites by FDA Method
      • Chloramphenicol by FDA Method LIB 4302
      • Private Lab Analytical data packages for FDA Import Detentions

      Veterinary Drug residues in Meat Products by USDA methodology

      • Aminoglycosides by USDA CLG-AMG1.02
      • Beta-Lactams by USDA CLG-BLAC.02
      • Chloramphenicol by USDA CLG-CAM1.00
      • Macrolides and Lincosamides by USDA CLG-MAL1.01
      • Mectin Residues by USDA CLG-AVR.02
      • Nitroimidazole Residues by USDA CCG-NIMZ 2.00
      • Gentamycin, Novobiocin, Virginiamycin, Carbadox
      • Ractopamine, Diethylstilbestrol, and others

      Veterinary Drug Residue Testing required for Japanese Positive List System Notification No. 499 chemicals

      • DES, Carbadox, Chlorpromazine, Chloramphenicol, Nitrofurans, Nitroimidazoles

      Melamine Testing

      In the spring of 2007 several dogs and cats died in North America due to the adulteration of wheat gluten with melamine, the basic ingredient in melamine resins. The pets died due to damage from crystals formed in their kidneys by the combination of melamine and its metabolite cyanuric acids. A year and a half later, adulteration of milk products with melamine in China led to one of the biggest food scandals of the last decades. This led to kidney problems in thousands of babies and infants and in some cases even resulted in deaths.

      Currently, contaminated candy and cookies from East Asia are being exported and have been found in the EU. Accordingly, the EU has imposed an import ban on all baby and infant food from China and requires the analysis of melamine on all imported food containing either more than 15 % or an unknown amount of milk or milk powder.

      In response to the melamine crisis, Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories offers advanced melamine testing services. The established methods utilized are based on US Food and Drug Administration’s LC-MSMS methods.

      Due to high equipment capacities, Eurofins laboratories are now able to analyze globally over 250 samples per day. The standard turn-around-time is 5 to 7 days. Express analysis is also available with reports issued within 24 to 36 hours of receipt of sample.

      FDA Import Alerts

      Eurofins CAL has the most appropriate testing strategies and sampling services for FDA Detention Import Alerts #99-29, #99-30 and #99-31. We can provide a complete testing solution for the importer, including sampling, testing , FDA submittal package and consulting on FDA intervention issues.


      The following compounds are among those covered by the current FDA GC-MS method:

      • Melamine
      • Cyanuric Acid
      • Ammeline
      • Ammelide

      Test Method

      FDA method LIB 4421 by LC-MSMS: This method is best used for milk, infant formula, and samples containing milk products. This method includes, Melamine, Cyanuric Acid, Ammeline, and Ammelide. Our present Limit of Quantification (LOQ) for melamine is 0.25 ppm. The turnaround is 5 to 10 working days. We offer a rush option of 3 working day turnaround time. The rush option includes a 50% up charge.

      FDA method LIB 4422 by LC-MSMS: This method can achieve an LOQ as low as 0.05 ppm for melamine in dry products and 0.01 ppm in fish and is best used for all general food and feed samples. The turnaround is 5 to 10 working days. This method is recommended to meet international regulations that require the lowest possible detection limits. We offer a rush option of 3 working day turnaround time. The rush option includes a 50% up charge.

      The method of choice will have to be determined depending on each individual sample type and importing or exporting circumstances. The LC-MSMS methods are used for infant formula, milk powder, most preservatives, vitamins, fertilizers, amino acids, etc.

      Quality Assurance

      • Method cross validated within multiple Eurofins laboratories worldwide
      • Use of a labelled melamine compound as an internal standard
      • Recovery of the internal standard is monitored
      • Use of blanks, and spikes for each sample type within an analytical batch
      • Continuing calibration verification every 15 samples


      • FDA published method for Melamine and related analogs.

      If you require testing contact eurofins that can carry out all the above testing