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Quality Control

Spot Test Company is dedicated to providing our customers with a product that is uniform and accurate in detecting sulfite compounds in fresh foods and beverages. To accomplish this we perform 100% inspection of each test strip. Every block of Spot Test Strips are scanned with a densitometer and the scanned images are compared to a four part external curve of known concentrations using regression analysis software. Our target is a detection threshold of approximately 0.25μg of indicator which will react with amounts of sulfite several orders of magnitude greater in concentration depending on the compound being detected. In practical terms sulfites are usually put on the surface of products and the parts per million designation is problematic in determining amounts present or the effects of the amounts on sulfite sensitive people.

The Federal regulations governing sulfite use in food require any amount greater than 10 parts per million to be declared, "this product contains sulfites", on the product's label. Fresh foods may not contain preservatives of any type. People with extreme sensitivity to sulfites can experience adverse reactions to levels below those Generally Recognized as Safe by the FDA ( the ten ppm threshold previously mentioned). We want our customers to have the ability to see concentrations of approximately 50ppm within 30 seconds of exposure to our product, and the 0.25μg indicator threshold was selected because it is technically possible, easily manufactured and simple to control. Detection at the Generally Recognized as Safe levels of 10ppm are possible given longer exposure times, but they represent the extreme limits of the test as presently configured. If the test strip has not decolored within three minutes of exposure to the tested product a negative result is indicated.

Developmental work on the test strip showed it to be less effective at pH below 3.5 and above 11.5. There are also some compounds, sulfuric acid is one, that produce positive results, but these compounds should not be in fresh foods and fresh foods do not as a rule exceed the operating pH range of the Test Strips. Our Test Strips can be used with processed foods and prepared meals, however you must be aware of the possibility of false positive results.

The target material for our sulfite Test Strips are fresh meat, shellfish, fresh vegetables and wine. Processed and prepared products can be subject to false positive results.

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