When you are sending samples to a laboratory, you need to tell the laboratory exactly what information you require on the certificate of analysis.


Of course you know that the three types of sauce had no preservative, preservative 1 and preservative 2 in them. In year’s time will you remember that, when you have sent another dozen samples for analysis? It is unlikely. Or if you have sent off the same product name for 6 different recipe changes, will you know which was which and how far though the shelf life it was when tested? Probably not and the lab won’t know either. 


So what information do you need on the samples?

Essential information for all samples (preferably attached)

1) The  sample name or reference that correlates with your production or new product development (NPD) records

2) The date of production

3) Any batch coding that is relevant to the product or NPD.

4) Storage conditions and transport conditions.

5) the condition of the sample, eg raw, cooked, pasteurised etc

6) The type of testing required – nutritional, microbiology, shelf life, etc.

Additional information 

a) portion size (for nutrition)

b) How far along the shelf life the sample is to be tested, for example  Day of production + 4 days or 6 months, or this can accompany the sample on additional documents. Make sure that the microbiological testing date matches any organoleptic testing that is being performed.


Want to know more about microbiological and other types of testing?

Check out the blogs, below:



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