Foreign Body Analysis
Customer Complaints
Product Contamination
Microbiological Analysis
Water Analysis
Medical Devices

Foreign Body Analysis

glass - metals - polymers - insectshairbloodtabletsanimal remains - other foreign bodies

Foreign bodies are a significant source of customer and manufacturing complaints in the food, drink, healthcare and related industries. Despite best practice, HACCP and increased hygiene standards, the accidental inclusion of unwanted matter in products can occur in even the best managed processes.

Scientific Resources is Ireland’s leading provider of foreign material analysis, contaminant identification and structural analysis. We use the latest non – destructive technology combined with expert knowledge to analyse and identify foreign body material in products and processes.

Our extensive range of foreign body analytical services include:

Glass Identification

Glass BottleWe use sophisticated non–destructive ‘state-of-the-art’ technology for investigating and identifying potential glass fragments. Electron microscopy combined with energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis will help determine the type of glass, e.g. bottles, jars, wine glass, window, lighting, lead crystal, thermometer, heat resistant and laboratory glassware, ornamental glass, beer glass, lenses, mirrors etc. Only a small fragment is required and very often we can gather useful information from the surfaces of the glass including the amount of wear, possibility of mechanical damage, as well as deposit adhesion and distribution.

Metal Identification

Using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis techniques we can distinguish and identify a wide range of metal types and alloys. Analysis can identify shards of swarf from production equipment, solder fragments, remains of nuts, bolts and wires, fragments of tools, work surfaces, product containers, jewellery, knives etc. In situations of extortion or malicious tamper, razor blades, needles and syringes are commonly used. We can identify the composition of virtually any metal type and compare the results with known samples from your premises.

Polymers and Plastics

Polymers and plastics are a common and fast-growing source of customer complaints due to their increased use and range of applications. We use Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) as the principle technique to analyse a wide variety of plastic contaminants. Results obtained are compared against reference data available in an extensive library database. Our identification service can distinguish between plastics, glass and crystalline materials, and will help determine possible applications and point of origin.

Insect and Animal / Mammal Remains

waspOur reference database contains over 12,000 insect types. We apply expert knowledge to identify insects to species level. This can help determine country of origin, behaviour, risks to human health and association, if any, with product. Using an alkaline phosphatase test we can also determine whether the insect has been exposed to heat treatment consistent with cooking/manufacture.

We can also identify and distinguish animal hair from human hair, and between natural and man–made fibres. We can identify bone fragments, teeth, blood stains, rodent faeces, feathers and all types of animal remains.

Tablets, Capsules and Powders

Using a combination of GC/MS, Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), microscopy techniques (shape, colour and markings) together with access to a reference database we can examine and identify tablets, capsules, pills and powders.

Other Foreign Bodies