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hrl: investigate foreign materials found in food

Posted by Greg Richards on 5 December 2017

Foreign materials and objects found in food may result from plant problems in the manufacturer's process, coming from the raw materials or from a consumer complaint. Following the discovery of a foreign object, believed to be glass, one such manufacturer needed to determine what the material was and where it originated from in order to report back to the distributor and consumer, and ease their concerns.


With vast experience investigating foreign materials found in food, the client engaged hrl: to complete a thorough investigation. Using a scanning electron microscope, hrl: completed an elemental analysis assessing where the glass originated from based on its appearance and composition. Based on this assessment, hrl: was able to identify where the glass was likely to have come from and how it might have ended up in the food product.

These insights, supported by comprehensive graphics and photos, were presented to the client in a thorough investigative report. This report was fit for use in court, had the consumer chosen to take further action.


The client was very happy with the work completed by hrl: which allowed them to finalise their investigations and ensure that this situation should be avoided in future. The client has since engaged hrl: on an ongoing basis to investigate the origins of other foreign materials.

hrl: provides individually tailored solutions and analysis results to support the unique requirements of individual clients.  Read more here.

Greg RichardsAuthor:Greg Richards
About: Over 27 years of experience analyzing and identifying foreign objects for the food and beverage industries. Development of the test methods that are now used to characterise foreign objects. Greg worked as a Glass Technologist in the glass industry for over 32 years with additional time in the plastics industry.
Connect via:LinkedIn
Tags:TestsReliabilityAnalytical Services

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