Why test for vitamins?
By Amanda Foster - 05 September 2018
Vitamins are important nutrients that your body needs to function correctly and remain healthy. Knowing what vitamins, and in what quantity, are in your products and ingredients is advantageous as it can help you to:
- Develop new products, including:
- Clean label products where vitamin levels are increased naturally
- Food and drink for fitness and sports
- Incorporating new or emerging ingredients
- Products aimed at children such as infant formula
- Anticipate the impact of shelf life on vitamin levels - several vitamins are sensitive to environmental factors such as light and oxygen
- Understand the impact of processing on vitamin content – processing, particularly sterilisation, can have an impact on vitamin retention
- Fortify products – fortification of certain products is required by some countries or can be preferable to consumers
- Make health claims, including the percentage of a vitamin’s RDA (recommended daily allowance) found in a product
Vitamin analysis is not always straight forward. Vitamins are a very disparate group of chemicals and a thorough knowledge of their chemistry is needed in order to use the correct method for their determination. For example, there can be several forms of the same vitamin - vitamin A is expressed as retinol in animal sources, or carotenoids in plants so knowing the source of vitamins can be helpful when analysing for it. In addition, as many vitamins are present as several isomers, it is often necessary to consider whether the total of an exact isomer or total amount of all the forms of the vitamin are required. It is also important to identify whether the vitamin is from a natural source or fortified, as this affects the extraction method used.
At Campden BRI we can rapidly and reliably test for all vitamins and are UKAS accredited for vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12 testing. We can test for vitamins in most food and drink – fruit, vegetables, dairy, meats, fish, sprouts, drinks, vitamin supplements, animal feeds, pet foods.
We can help you to work out which vitamins to test for and help you to understand the results. With our extensive background knowledge and understanding of how vitamins interact with other ingredients/compounds we can advise on what can lead to degradation of vitamin levels or why levels are low or high. We can also undertake predictive modelling of vitamin levels through shelf life.
Get in touch to find out more about our vitamin services.