Agilent in Food Safety

Every continent on the globe has experienced a major food crisis within the past five years.  The World Health Organization estimates 2.2 million deaths per year globally from foodborne diseases.  The Centers for Disease Control report that one in six Americans are sickened each year, resulting in 128,000 annual hospitalizations.

The globalization of our food supply has added to the problem.  Fifty years ago, the average grocery store stocked 200 food items, all produced within 100 miles.  Today, the average is 39,000 items, which have travelled an average of 1,500 miles.

The food industry needs to ensure its products are safe from contamination while maintaining quality, convenience and affordability.  Consumers want to know if their meat contains antibiotics, steroids or other growth hormones.  They want to know if their fish contains lead or mercury.  They want to know if their food is organic.

Agilent is the world leader in providing chemical analysis solutions for food safety.  Our liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry (LC-MS) platforms can detect more than 3,000 known mycotoxins.  Our triple-quadrupole mass spec (QQQ) can measure 200-300 compounds at the sub-picogram level (about one-thousandth the mass of a single dust particle).

Food authenticity is another problem.  Governments estimate that 10 percent of the food we buy is likely adulterated and 7 percent contains fraudulent ingredients.  This is especially true with high-priced foods such as wine, spirits and olive oil.  Food producers use Agilent gas chromatograph (GC), liquid chromatograph (LC) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) systems, in combination with mass spec, software and automation capabilities, to detect food degradation or adulteration.

The industry also uses life sciences technologies to determine both the positive and negative effects of foods on humans.  Agilent offers a full range of genomics tools, analytical instruments and integrated biology software that is unmatched.  From farm to fork, Agilent is helping producers to bring you the best food products that have the best effects on human health.

Agilent’s customer markets include energy and chemicals, food, the environment, forensics, pharmaceuticals, research and diagnostics.

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