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Foreign bodies in food

Foreign body identification

A foreign body is an unwanted physical object present in a food or drink product. Examples include pieces of leaf stalk, bone, stones, insects or plastic.

We are able to identify many different types of foreign bodies, using our extensive expertise and suite of state–of–the–art equipment.

Listen to our podcast on identification of foreign bodies in food or watch the videos via links below.

X–ray microanalysis

A non–destructive technique which allows the elemental composition of a sample to be identified. Elemental composition is a key feature in identifying a wide range of samples including glass fragments, metal and stone.

In addition to determining the elemental composition of a sample, the Carl Zeiss Evo 60 Scanning Electron Microscope, alongside the x–ray analyser, can be used to:

Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy (FT–IR)

A technique used to identify organic materials such as plastics, fibres, bone, tablets etc. Spectra from samples obtained from FT–IR analysis can be compared to a fingerprint. Once obtained, this 'fingerprint' can then be matched to known spectra from a large library of data.

Compound microscopy

A powerful tool in the identification of foreign bodies. It is commonly used to identify plant matter such as wood, fruit stones and seeds, and other organic samples such as hairs, mould, droppings and animal tissue.

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Contact us

If you would like further information please email us at or call our switchboard on +44(0)1386 842000 and they will be happy to direct your call to the relevant person.

Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation

The Campden BRI group companies listed below are both accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope of methods, specific to each site, as detailed in the schedules of accreditation bearing the testing laboratory number. The schedules may be revised from time to time and reissued by UKAS. The most recent issue of the schedules are available from the UKAS website

Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207