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"Republican Veterinary-sanitary and Phytosanitary Center of Laboratory
Services" SNCO State Service for Food Safety at Ministry of Agriculture of RA

FOOD SAFETY

RESIDUES DETECTION DEPARTMENT

The Residues Detection Department of Food Safety Laboratory is well-equipped with high precise equipment (GC-MS/MS, LC-MS/MS, AAS, IR-MS, etc.) and professional staff with great experience of participation in local and international trainings. The laboratory tests of food stuff, plant or animal origin food and feed are carried out as well as according to requirements of EEU and national regulations, technical specifications, also according to the in-house methods.

The tests for detection of residual amounts of chemical contaminants (pesticides, contaminants used during the processing of food stuff, contaminants of external environment, residues of veterinary drugs) are carried out in laboratory conditions designed and furnished according to international standards. High precise and mainly automated equipments such as microwave oven, automatic extraction and purification systems, analytical devices equipped with autosamplers and various ultrasensitive detectors give an opportunity simultaneously test 24-150 samples, decrease the influence of human factor and increase accuracy and precision of test results.

High purity reference standards and chemical reagents, verified laboratory equipment are used also in this department. We have a number of primary programs, e.g. the identification of alcoholic beverages of viti-vinicultural origin and the isotope ratio investigations aimed to establish the isotopes database of alcoholic beverages of RA.

MICROBIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

The Microbiology Department of Food Safety Laboratory is well-equipped by modern devices (BacTrac bacteriological analyzer, biosafety cabinets, autoclaves, deep freezers (-80°C), thermostats, colony counters, microscopes, etc). Our staff consists of professional specialists, who have participated in a number of local and international trainings. Their competency is checked by regular participation in proficiency testings (PT). The tests are carried out as well as by classical, also by rapid microbiological methods.

Hygienic standards of food microbiology parameters include following pathogenic and nonpathogenic groups of microorganisms:

  • Sanitary-Indicative: Aerobic Plate Count, Colifioms, Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria,

  • Conditionally-pathogenic: Е. coli, S. aureus, Proteus, В. Cereus group, Sulphite-reducing bacteria(SRB)/Clostridium perfringens, Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

  • Pathogenic: including Salmonella spp and Listeria monocytogenes.

  • Yersinia and other pathogenic microbes according to the epidemic conditions over the area of food industry.

  • Spolage bacteria: yeast and molds, Lactic acid bacteria.

  • Microflora fermentation bacteria and probiotic microbes (Lactic acid bacteria, yeast, bifidobacterias, lactobacillus, etc.) in foodstuff with regulated technological fermentation level and probiotic food.

The regulation of bacteriological parameters for food safety for the majority of bacteria is carried out by alternative principles, i.e. that weight of food product is regulated, in which majority of E. coli, conditionally-pathogenic bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella spp and Listeria monocytogenes, are not detected. In other cases the number of colony forming units in 1 g(ml) of food (CFU/g  or CFU/ml )) is regulated.

The microbiological parameters of canned food (industrial sterilization) reffer to absense of microorganisms, having an opportunity for growing and breeding in conditions defined for canned food storage temperature, and bacteria and their toxins harmful for human health.

PHYSICOCHEMISTRY, TOXICOLOGY AND VETERINARY - SANITARY DEPARTMENT

The quality of food as the quality of any product is a unity of different parameters, which gives an opportunity to satisfy previously defined or supposed demands. The costumer value grows by the quality improvement. Food quality testing methods are divided into organoleptic and physicochemical laboratory methods.

The organoleptic and physicochemical tests are carried out according to the regulatory documents, manufacturer’s technical specifications and other methods upon client’s request.

Physical and physicochemical methods have many advantages related to the duration and availability of tests. In this department tests are carried out as by classic physicochemical methods, also by modern methods based on the application of novel equipment. The department is well equipped with ultrasensitive equipment unique in the Republic of Armenia and in some cases even on regional level.  Those are high-performance, accurate and multifunctional devices:

  • Amino Acid Analyzer, which gives an opportunity to determine the protein composition in food in the frame of single test.

  • Ion Chromatographic equipment, which gives an opportunity to determine the cations (potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, strontium, ammonium) and anions (fluoride, chloride, nitrate, nitrite, sulfate) in food and beverages.

 

One of the main functions of the department is the veterinary-sanitary expertise, which is a complex of organoleptic and microscopic investigations. The veterinary-sanitary expertise is important from the viewpoint of laboratory tests for meat products for prevention of infectious and invasive diseases.

 

DEPARTMENT OF MOLECULAR AND PARASITOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS

Department of molecular and parasitological investigations of the food safety laboratory is fully equipped with modern equipment, particularly with Quant Studio 5 for RT-PCR, biosafety cabinets, fridges and freezer for deep freezing (-80 o C), microscopes, incubators and centrifuges. The department consists of professional specialists, who participate in advanced trainings by invited from abroad high-level professionals. In the department investigations for detection of pathogenic microorganisms (such as Salmonella, Listeria, Staphylococcus and E. coli) is carried out in different food samples by RT-PCR method (rapid method).       
The investigations for detection of GMO (qualitative and quantitative) in food samples by RT-PCR method also are carried out. 
Parasitological investigations of fish and crayfish are held for the detection of live larvae of trematodes, nematodes and cestodes.
 
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